A Panic Disorder is a form of Anxiety Disorder. All panic attacks occur unexpectedly. It is an emotional sense of terror and the alleged thoughts of losing self-control. There is no precise time that panic attacks can occur, however the greatest distress of all is not knowing exactly when one will occur and the dreadful fear of having another one.
According to the DSM criteria for panic disorder, the attacks has to take place for one month or longer one after the other with the fear of having another one. Also changes in ones social life will change as well as behavioral deviations that may occur due to the dread of having another unexpected attack in a public place or around associates, family or friends. In this particular case, Joe’s syptoms were shortness of breath; he a sensation that he was smothering. He had heart papiltations, fear, dizziness, trembling, cold sweats. There were even moments when Joe began to lose a sense of reality and thoughts of losing his mind.
Assessment Questions (6 @ 5 points each):
A: In the case of “Joe,” what event precipitated his panic attack?
Joe and his wife were on a vacation and on the flight back home, then all of a sudden Joe begin to feel a change in his breathing after the plane lifted to the air. He begin to think irrationally in doing things that was impossible to do being that the plane had already lifted. During this initial attack, Joe was able to keep the attack hid from his wife; he remained calm enough not to alarm her or anyone else around them. Ufortunately, Joe had another attack 2 days later and then 2 weeks later. It wasn’t until now, that Joe began to fear future attacks and the fear of leaving home.
B: Why is Joe’s case different from most panic attacks?
Well, Joe’s case is kind of rare due to his first attack began at the age of 76. According to (APA. 2013), panic disorders start as early as adolescene to mid 30’s with the average onset age being between 20-24. Also, Joe appeared to be fine and felt like himself again after the initial attack; the thought of having another attack did not cross his mind. However, the second attack was more intensed with breathing as well fear to the point that Joe’s wife was awakened by his attack.
C: Why do individuals first suspect a general medical condition?
A general medical condition is suspected because a panic attack can mislead one to believe that they are having a heart attack or heart issues due to the symptoms are very similar. Also, as a physician it is wise not to assume or diagnoise that an individiual has a panic disorder preceding examining every possible health issues.
D: Why was Dr. Geller convinced that panic disorders are “best explained by a combination of biological and cognitive factors?”
Dr. Geller supposed that panic disorder is produced by biological characteristics as well as cognitive reasons because a panic attack sends responses in which a person reacts both physiologically and cognitively. Biologically, an individual may encounter physical symptoms like uneasiness in the chest, faintness, sweats, and augmented heart rate. Some of these symptoms are types of physiological stimulation that reflect the fight or flight response. However, anyone suffering a panic attack is not responding to actual danger. However, the body remains to conduct itself accordingly anyway. Dr. Geller and others believed the physiological aspects of panic attacks derive from cognitive reasons. The individual who is having an attack percievce their physical symptoms to be of actual danger and begins to construe them as such, therefore, producing more bodily symptoms and perhaps increasing their fear. (Gallaher etal. 2013)
E: How did Joe’s avoidance of going outside alone contribute to his panic disorder?
Joe thought that if he went outside alone that something would happen to him and that his heart would fail. He had in his mind that if that should happen; no one would be their to help him. Joe made up an illogical fear that activated more anxiety and amplified dysfunction in his everyday livlihood. To see this from a biological approach, Joe’s anxiety produced his fight-or-flight feeling to become overactive. By doing this, Joe amplified the activity of his nervous system. This frantic activity triggered Joe to feel the physiological symptoms that produced his panic disorder.
F: What was the outcome for Joe?
The 4 steps Dr. Geller took to help Joe overcome his panic attacks were training him to become more relaxed along with improved breathing methods. She worked with him to help change his cognitive misconception of panic sensations. She practice recurring exposure to feelings of panic, and repetitively practiced in circumstances that Joe was uneasy about. Joe’s psychologist had him to do over and over again 3 interoceptive exposure exercises everyday shaking his head from side to side for at least (30 secs), Joe had to gaze at a spot on the wall for at least (90 secs), and also hyperventilating techniques for at least (60 secs). These exercises aided Joe to control his logic of panic. This cognitive approach and trainings help Joe to overcome his dysfunctional thoughts and feelings. Joe was able to apply new behavior of intellect to his day-to-day life and regain control over his mind and body.
Bible Application Question (5 points, 50 word minimum): Discuss this case and disorder from a biblical perspective using at least 1 Scripture reference (direct quotes do not count towards length requirement).
Note: Use correct spelling, grammar, and APA format (5pts)
The bible does not persey mention the word panic. However, we do find where some faced the fears and symptoms of a panic attack.
Psalm 55:48 Tells us that fear was certain; “My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert.” (ESV)
Isaiah 35:4 Tells us that those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” (ESV)