Panic Disorder

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University of Belize 
Introduction to Psychology 
Research Paper: Panic Disorder 
Tanya Bowen 
Jasmini Humes 
Karina August Cano 

“It started at the onset of puberty, when I was 11 years old. I was at school, watching my older sister load the school bus to be taken away to 6th-grade camp. Suddenly a wave of panic overcame me. I don't recall my physical symptoms other than a racing heart and nausea.My father is an alcoholic who would physically abuse my sisters and me, including providing little food. He didn’t want to work, so my mom did and was gone most of the time. He did not allow us to have friends or any kind of social interaction outside our home. It was his decision to homeschool us but I retained little, if anything, he taught us.When my mom finally had enough of my father, she left. She tried to take us with her, but my father intervened. It felt like pure abandonment when she went to live with her parents, even though she was fighting desperately to gain custody of us. When she was finally awarded full custody, we ended up living with her and my grandparents, and our world was a thousand times better. But the damage stayed with me—and has to this day.”

Panic is the state of feeling fear, uneasiness and worry of an unpredictive outcome according the  Merriam Webster Dictionary.  
According to Anxiety Depression Association of America, Panic Disorder is diagnosed in people  who experience spontaneous seemingly out­of­the­blue panic attacks and are preoccupied with  the fear of a recurring attack. They go on to say that panic attacks occur unexpectedly,  sometimes even during sleep. 

Many people don't know that their disorder is real and highly responsive to treatment. Some are  afraid or embarrassed to tell anyone, including their doctors and loved ones, about what they  experience for fear of being considered a hypochondriac which is a person who is abnormally  anxious about their health. . Instead they suffer in silence, distancing themselves from friends,  family, and others who could be helpful or supportive. 

The disorder often occurs with other mental and physical disorders, including other anxiety  disorders, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, or substance abuse(CDAA, 2010­2015).  This may complicate of getting a correct diagnosis.  Agoraphobia 

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that one may experience as a result of panic disorder.   Some people stop going into situations or places in which they've previously had a panic attack  in anticipation of it happening again. 

These people have agoraphobia, and they typically avoid public places where they feel  immediate escape might be difficult, such as shopping malls, public transportation, or large  sports arenas. About one in three people with panic disorder develops agoraphobia. Their world  may become smaller as they are constantly on guard, waiting for the next panic attack. Some  people develop a fixed route or territory, and it may become impossible for them to travel  beyond their safety zones without suffering severe anxiety.  HISTORY OF THE CONCEPT OF PANIC ATTACK 

In 1959, research psychiatrist Donald F. Klein was studying imipramine, a new drug synthesized  by a minor alteration in the chemical structure of the “major tranquilizer” chlorpromazine.  Klein’s decision to prescribe imipramine for these atypical schizophrenics was born of  frustration. Other approaches had failed, and the new drug was known to be safe and to have  some anxiety­reducing properties.Based on these observations, Klein inferred that imipramine  was effective against acute panic attacks, but not against chronic anxiety. Indeed, their chronic  anxiety was itself the consequence of panic; they lived in dread of these recurrent episodes of  terror. These observations also suggested a qualitative distinction between episodic panic attacks ...
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