Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder

Panic attack, reaching its peak for minutes, some symptoms felt at that time; are situations in which there is intense fear or inner distress.

So what are these symptoms?

  • Increased heart rate or pounding heart

  • Sweating

  • feeling of not being able to breathe

  • Chest tightness or chest pain

  • nausea, abdominal pain

  • Dizziness or fainting

  • Conflicts

  • The fear of death

  • Fear of losing control and going crazy

Now let’s imagine that a speeding vehicle is coming towards us. Which of the above symptoms would we experience? Yes, it is very normal for us to experience many of them. Here, a panic attack occurs as a result of misinterpretation of a situation that is not actually a threat.

Let’s pretend we experience these symptoms. These symptoms drag the person into such a dead end that we can expect these symptoms to reappear in any environment at any time. As the size of this expectation increases, we begin to think of ourselves in a panic attack and anticipate that this panic attack will have some possible consequences. Common situations include having a heart attack, losing control, dying, or going crazy. These thoughts are so intense that the person begins to avoid environments that they think might trigger a panic attack. Among these, the most common one can be seen as avoiding doing sports or avoiding unfamiliar activities. Panic disorder is when the person expects to experience a panic attack, has intense anxiety and is afraid that something bad will happen as a result of the panic attack.


From ancient times to the present, humans have responded with two basic reactions when faced with danger in order to survive. These are fleeing or fighting. Well, can our brain interpret a danger that does not exist? Yes. Sometimes our minds misinterpret situations and events and cause us to perceive it as if there is danger. This situation causes our anxiety level to increase and the emergence of a panic situation. In panic disorder, the situation that the person is afraid of is more than the moment of danger; are the symptoms he experiences in case of danger and the meanings attributed to these symptoms.

When we look at this model, in the first place, the person encounters a situation. Let’s imagine that this situation is being in an elevator. The person in the elevator may think of many things, such as not being able to get out of there, running out of oxygen. This thought causes him fear. Along with fear, bodily sensations such as accelerated breathing, sweating, and rapid heartbeat are felt. Upon this bodily misinterpretation that I am having a heart attack, suffocating, or dying, the cycle repeats. Within minutes, this state of panic reaches its climax.

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