Term Paper On Panic Disorder

Term Paper On Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder is a condition that differs from the usual feeling of fear and nervousness, where the person experiences a sudden fit, which is uncalled for at times, with an elevated heart rate, and racing heart, sweating and increased, unstable breathing. These attacks occur as in what they call ‘out of the blue’ since the situation may not seem as fearful as the reaction to them is shown.
These attacks reach their peak or height of intensity in ten minutes and subside gradually. These panic attacks, more commonly as they are known, occur due to some situational context or an internal conflict.Term Paper On Panic Disorder.  Panic attacks are characterized by their psychological arousal and nature during the onset and course of the attack, but the psychological evidence hardly ever precedes the attacks. The outcome of the panic attack is not anything critical; however, it is the anticipation and fear experienced by a person of having another panic attack in the future. They start fearing what they have felt during the attack; the chest pain, trouble breathing and a feeling that they are losing control of themselves and can die any time they have an attack.
On the upside of this, panic attacks are a misunderstood phenomenon. Their implications, symptoms and course of disease are quite similar to other conditions such as heart problems, breathing or thyroid problems, which are taken into consideration, but hardly is it ever thought that the problem could be underlying psychological in nature and actually be a case of panic disorders. Therefore, it is important that a client is examined and goes through a proper trial to discover they have a panic disorder, which can be easily treated and controlled to quite an extent.
Several tests are run to discover if a person has a panic disorder. In a test performed to figure out if heart disease, the panic disorder model was held in consideration. This model states that panic disorders fall into three categories; somatic sensations related to the feeling of anxiety and fear, a fear of cognitive dyscontrol which is cognitive and that which is social, also known as fear of socially observable anxiety reactions. Term Paper On Panic Disorder. The underlying anxiety sensitivity or AS that lies beneath the panic disorder is the cause why many people who have an issue of excessive fear and anxiety feel threatened and become vulnerable to further panic attacks.
One basic way of discovering whether a person has an anxiety sensitivity issue or another physical issue is by two basic ways. First, it is done by finding out the reactions by physical sensations and their interpretation. An example of this can be the study of heart palpitations. It is not necessary that they are threatening in every situation such as those that are experienced when one takes rides at an amusement park or that experienced during sexual arousal. These are termed as normal, and they are not inherently harmful or alarming. If there are heart palpitations without any trace of an alarming situation or the presence of anything threatening, then this could indicate that the matter is routed psychologically. The second way is to observe the recurring attacks and their intensity; when the attacks appear and reappear uncured and there is no certainty as to when the attack will occur, where can it occur and why would it occur in the first place. “In some cases, panic disorders are associated with the presence of agoraphobia in some people, where they can be much more complicated than the ones without it.” (Carleton, 2014).
In a research conducted, several people were asked to take a test known as the Anxiety Sensitivity Index. This was more in the form of a questionnaire where the three dimensions of the anxiety sensitivity were asked to be rated in the order of what they anticipated the most. The somatic part was answered with questions like ‘I feel scared the most when my heart beats rapidly’; the cognitive with ‘When I am nervous, I get worried that I am mentally ill’ and the social by ‘It is important to me not to appear nervous.’ These conditions would not be anywhere near associated with heart diseases or to breathing problems since they solely rotate around fear and worrying.Term Paper On Panic Disorder.  The variance that occurs in panic disorders is due to the congruence and interlinking of the somatic and cognitive dimensions of AS. The fear of physical sensations would then lead to the various unidentifiable symptoms that are experienced during a panic attack. Certain individuals will deliberately go through the same symptoms of a panic attack but will not actually experience the same psychological and physiological associations since they are internally specific to one dimension and their minds and bodies will not react oddly to such situations of threat or fear. (Meurett et al., 2011).
The next question here is why these attacks occur in the first place and why are certain people affected by them while others are not. “The reasons are mostly psychological, and they develop over time as a person matures. Usually, some people start having panic attacks as soon as they reach adulthood, and the situation keeps aggravating if they do not seek treatment or aren’t diagnosed with the issue in the first place.” (Meurett, 2011).
The basic reason given for panic disorder is a stressful life and its repercussions on an individual’s mind and psychological health. Normally termed as stressful life events (SLE), panic disorders with or without agoraphobia can cause a person to lead a life of extensive worrying and always being fearful of unknown situations. A research was conducted to study whether the life events were responsible for the panic disorders or were there any other issues related.Term Paper On Panic Disorder.  There were nine domains chosen for this: “school events such as dropping out or a training program, a work event such as getting fired from the job, a love event such as divorce or breaking up, health event like getting admitted to having a critical illness, a crime issue such as getting arrested for something, a family or friend related issue such as having an argument, a death event such as the death of a spouse or loved one and childbirth i.e. the fear of not being able to have children. These symptoms were not modified into positive and were kept as they are.” (Moitra et al., 2011).


The results showed that when the people under study were exposed to such stressful situations like the ones given above, their conditions began to worsen, and the panic attacks began to recur with greater frequency. The reason for this could be that the SLEs trigger a biological alarm in the body that makes it susceptible to panic attacks. Such as an argument in the family or with a friend could lead to an arousal of the autonomic nervous system, which will increase the risk of hyperventilation that will ultimately lead to panic attacks.
Panic attacks are related to everyday life events that can trigger them, and they have the tendency to run in families. Events such as entering a new school or college, joining a new workplace, getting married and having a baby are normal events that, if taken undue stress over, can lead to panic disorders.
It is true that the exact cause of the panic disorder is unclear, yet it is true that it is treatable and effective and if done in time can help an individual to lead a completely normal functional life. There are certain treatments for panic disorders, both with and without agoraphobia. The most basic treatment for panic disorder is Cognitive behavioral therapy. The basic purpose of this therapy is to place focus on the thoughts, fears and worries of the person that cause the panic attack in the first place. It aims to discover how the person is thinking about a certain issue or reacting towards it and what thoughts do they contain and set free to trigger the attacks in them. However, this treatment along with medication is the most effective and golden treatment for the disorder. Serotonin Selective Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs are the new medications for the treatment of panic disorder. In a research conducted, patients were given the therapy along with the medication, and they were followed up for a whole year. Term Paper On Panic Disorder. The pre and post results of the attacks were collected, and the outcome was a decreased and significantly lowered the amount of attacks experienced since the trial began, and they were lessening with the passage of time. The research also concluded that “patients who suffered from mild panic disorder did not require therapy, only the SSRIs were sufficient, however, those who had a more severe case required both in order to get treated.” (Apeldoorn et al., 2012).
Panic disorder is a medical condition that is often ignored and neglected, left alone undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. However, it is easy to detect from other disease and disorders since it is a recurring and untimely, uncalled-for condition that a person faces. The disorder is caused by many factors, but the penultimate ones are events that cause mental stress to a person and inculcate fear and worry in him. The solutions to panic disorders are Cognitive behavioral therapy, and Serotonin Selective Reuptake Inhibitors that can almost cure a person and significantly relieve them from panic attacks. Term Paper On Panic Disorder.


Apeldoorn et al., (2012). Rate of improvement during and across three treatments for panic
Disorder with or without agoraphobia: Cognitive behavioral therapy, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or both combined. Journal of Affective Disorders’. 313-319
Carelton et al., (2014). “But it might be a heart attack”: Intolerance of uncertainty and panic
disorder symptoms.Journal of Affective Disorders. P. 463-470
Meurett et al., (2011). Do unexpected panic attacks occur spontaneously?Retrieved from
Moitra et al., (2011).Impact of stressful life events on the course of panic disorder in adults. Term Paper On Panic Disorder.