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Panic Disorder Part III

Sat, Jun 13, 2009

Panic Part III

Let’s Talk Again

Panic attacks become so critical for our day-to-day life that with this kind of psychological problem we will be quite motivated to seek medical attention. From another hand, if someone was told that nothing was wrong or the problem was pure psychiatric, the patient may feel upset or embarrassed or even ashamed to ask for any further help. This situation can create the following serious problems:

Agoraphobia is often joined with panic disorder with a sensation of entirely unreasonable fear of being in situations or places from which the escape might be difficult or impossible, where the help might not be available in the event of a panic attack. Modern science of sleep considers agoraphobia to be a harsh form of phobic avoidance forcing those people who suffer from panic disorder to avoid crowds, public places, stage presentation, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas, or just traveling by boat, bus, or plane. The most dramatic stage of this disorder is it progresses to the point when a person will not leave home at all.

Anticipatory anxiety. This condition is usually initiated by thinking that another panic attack about the possibility of could possibly happen. When it happens, it might lead to anticipatory anxiety forcing the person to start looking for solitary and/or withdrawn from the rest of the world. These patients tend to confront the attacks by themselves rather than being in public whereby there is no possible escape from the attack and a very minimal chance of help.

Avoidance. Having wrong opinion on what actually is the cause of the panic attack, people who experience those attacks may stop activities they think are the triggers of panic attacks, such as: driving, resting in the park, taking elevators, or do any activities, which could, in their opinion, might be upsetting their body feelings. Here is the dangerous area for those who suffers from panic avoidance: even avoidance maybe temporarily helpful over the fear of the possible panic attack and loss of control, it makes regular life almost impossible. The most disturbing fact is that the avoidance, especially in people who have been diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder would not stop the attacks from happening.

Watch Video: Stop Panic Attacks

Panic Disorder Statistics

It has been observed that about  twice as many women as men experience panic disorder. Also, it has been noticed that there is no much difference in occurrences of panic disorder among people of different economic, ethnic, and/or geographic backgrounds. The begins of panic disorder typically starts when the patients are in their 20’s, usually preceded by a traumatic event , which could have initiated the first attack, such as: the death of a parent, broken relationship, failure on exam, or a car accident. It is, however, very common that most people suffering from panic disorder are incapable of associating their first panic attack with any particular incident in their life.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), more than 3,000,000 Americans will experience panic disorder or a trace of it sometime in their lives. Strangely enough, there is a very common notion assuming that panic disorder is inherited in families, by supports this idea. It is also have been studied and confirmed the fact that people with panic disorder are inclined  to other forms of illnesses, such as: anxiety, depression,  an alcohol or drug abuse. It is also has been proven that more than 50% of people with panic disorder will experience depression, at least once, during their life span. Panic disorder becomes more severe when accompanied  by alcohol and drug abuse.

As it mentioned before, there are two general treatment options that available for people with panic disorder:

1. medication

2. cognitive behavioral therapy

Both of these treatment solutions have success rates from 60% to 90% depending on severity of the illness. As we know now, both treatment options are similarly effective and can be advised and may be chosen based on a patient’s preference.

About 15 million American adults have social anxiety disorder 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Basics

The following 5 steps are the most important and often quite sufficient in treating panic disorder by simply persuasion:

1. Learning. The very first stage is learning and educating yourself. Medical doctor, usually the psychiatrist, will explain the disorder, will teaches how identify the symptoms, and will describe the treatment plan.

2. Monitoring. Patients are obligated to keep a diary for monitor panic attacks and by making notes about any anxiety-inducing situations.

3. Breathing. The medical doctor provides training on breathing relaxation techniques to affectively deal and resist the physical reactions to a panic attack.

4. Rethinking. The most important task any medical doctor will face is to help the patient to change his/her understanding of panic disorder physical symptoms from disastrous to real.

5. Exposing. The medical doctor also helps the patient to control situations, where apparently frightening physical sensations might have gradually accelerating intensity.

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