Question for Dr. Kissen:
I often feel the compulsive need to hurt or injure myself (though I've never done any serious harm) and my emotions tend to surge, either towards anger or despair. And while the panic attacks are not daily, the anxiety I feel. Does this sound like panic disorder?
The desire to self harm when your emotions surge sound like a strategy you are employing in order to down regulate your extreme emotions. Self harm related thoughts and behaviors are most often associated with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and having panic attacks can certainly be a symptom of BPD. The treatment of choice for BPD is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).