What is Panic Disorder?

Panic disorder is a mental problem caused by anxiety. Our anxiety is in the foreground among the emotions that cause us distress. So how do we understand this? First of all, it is important that we know the line between our fears and our anxieties. We can say that our fears are our primary emotions. It is our sudden emotional response when we feel threatened. For example, we are walking on the road and we see a car coming quickly in front of us. At that moment, our heart palpitations increase and we start to sweat, right, in fact, these are our physical symptoms. Then a signal develops, we jump across the curb, and that’s the response to our fear. Now we saw a clear threat here, and it was a car coming fast. Our concerns are that we are under an invisible threat. Our fears and anxieties may have several consequences for us. First of all, sometimes we may think that something bad may happen to me or that I may be disgraced while walking on the road. Secondly, we may feel abdominal pain, nausea, acceleration of our heartbeat or sweating, which suddenly begins to be felt in our body. Third, we may want to avoid situations that may cause anxiety or distress, or we may freeze in place when we are afraid. Sometimes we avoid them instead of thinking about the events that may cause us distress. Let’s think that we will be disgraceful while walking on the road and instead of causing ourselves trouble, we can avoid it by going on a road where there is no one, right? In fact, it is not right for us to avoid events or situations that make us feel negative. In the car example, we had a reaction out of fear and we could clearly see it. It is very important to be able to distinguish between these two.

We’ve all had panic attacks, maybe a few times in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we have panic disorder. So what is the difference between them? If we do not experience our panic attacks for any reason, if they have become permanent for us, and if we think that “it happens to me anytime” by giving us trouble in our lives, then our panic attack becomes a symptom of us and we see that it causes panic disorder. If we have a panic attack from time to time and it has been affected by another event we have experienced, it is important that we understand why it happened.

What Are the Symptoms of a Panic Attack?

  • It is a feeling of extreme anxiety and fear that starts suddenly and rises within a few minutes.

  • Increased heart rate and palpitations

  • Feeling cold or hot flashes

  • feeling out of breath

  • Feeling of losing reality

  • trembling or tingling of the body

  • nausea or abdominal pain

  • Chest pain or tightness in the chest

  • It can have many symptoms, such as fear of death.

Why Should I Get Psychotherapy?

Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (CBT) school is a psychotherapy method whose effectiveness has been scientifically proven in many problems such as anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, marital problems, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders. Studies have shown that CBT provides a significant improvement in the quality of life and functionality of individuals. In addition, many studies have shown that CBT is more effective than other therapy methods and medications. (APA,2017).

In the psychotherapy process, first of all, what panic attacks, fear and anxiety are is explained, and in the interview, which we call case formulation, a training is given that includes theoretical explanation of what is told. CBT helps us all learn to be our own therapists. There are many techniques in CBT. For example, the skill of correct breathing is taught, and we can arrange the situations that cause us distress, from small to large, and perform their interventions. In addition, the technique of “going over” anxiety-producing situations is the most scientifically proven form of psychotherapy. In addition, psychotherapy alone will suffice. Also, a panic attack may be accompanied by depression. Here, we should continue our first intervention by addressing anxiety, if you have depression, you can see that it starts to go away on its own.

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