Let’s see what it is and what to do about panic disorder, Its manifestations and symptoms, and why it is important to go to the psychologist if you experience this psychological disorder in the first person.
What is panic disorder?
Panic disorder is a psychopathological syndrome that is characterized by episodes of acute anxiety that occur repeatedly, spontaneously, suddenly and unexpectedly. Anxiety or panic attacks can last for different periods, from a few minutes to an hour, and reach their maximum intensity within a short period of time.
When this psychological disorder occurs, the person unexpectedly experiences an intense experience with a high level of anxiety and discomfort, psychological and physical fear. The person who has panic attacks is usually afraid of losing control, dying and going mad. Panic attacks are not tied to a specific object or situation.
Often these people are afraid of having more panic attacks in other similar situations. Additionally, panic attacks are often associated with agoraphobia, as panic disorder is associated with fear of facing certain situations that it would be difficult to escape or get out of, Or in which one would be ashamed to show symptoms or suffering arising from one’s own interpretation of reality.
According to psychologist Florencia Stolo, of the Malaga firm of psychologists Málaga PsicoAbreu, panic disorder is based on the fear of a possible attack of anxiety and strong anxiety, an experience in which the person himself believes that he or she does not. is not able to control attack and has an external locus of its own situation (i.e. an interpretation of the situation in which it is perceived as something external to oneself and uncontrollable, which sometimes happens). The psychologist states that by giving the patient the ability to control his own emotions and seizures, he is achieved by reducing them and control them.
The most common symptoms of panic disorder are as follows.
- Tachycardia: The heart goes faster.
- Palpitations: the heart beats faster. Heart “shocks” are felt and blood pressure rises.
- Feeling of suffocation or shortness of breath.
- Dry mouth.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Chest pressure or pain.
- Tingling or numbness in the limbs.
- Hyperspiration (excessive sweating).
- Instability, fainting dizziness.
- Nausea or abdominal discomfort.
- Bonfires or chills.
- Fear of losing control or knowledge, or of imminent death.
As less common symptoms and in times of great anxiety they come to experience depersonalization (feeling of strangeness in the environment around them or in their own body) or unrealization (Alteration in the perception or experience of the environment which is interpreted as unreal or strange).
What if you have panic disorder?
The most important thing is consult a health psychologist specializing in the treatment of anxiety to assess the specific case. Once consulted, the psychologist will surely use the following tools and techniques.
The patient will be informed of what is happening to him, what the panic attacks consist of, Your symptoms and any events surrounding anxiety attacks that have ever happened to you. You will also be taught how panic attacks and your fear of them affect you in your day-to-day life and in your relationships with others.
It is helpful for the patient to understand how he catastrophically interprets the physical sensations he is experiencing.
2. Relaxation techniques
The patient will be explained various relaxation techniques to give him tools to relax and that it increases their sense of control over crises and everything that happens, Which will help you feel more secure.
Relaxation will allow you to implement other cognitive and behavioral techniques, which will help the person to better control anxiety attacks. For example: Jacobson’s progressive relaxation technique, diaphragmatic breathing, Schultz progressive relaxation …
3. Cognitive techniques
Identify and know the dysfunctional thoughts owning the patient in situations of greater anxiety, it is helpful to complete a self-report. Cognitive techniques are also useful in order to be able to give up safety behaviors, which allow the person to feel safe in different areas without needing these inappropriate actions. For example, among the cognitive techniques that the psychologist can use, we find the ABC model of Ellis, cognitive restructuring, Socratic speech …
4. Techniques for increasing self-esteem and self-conception
They must allow the patient to feel more secure in the control of the situations which surround him and to improve his social relations and his relations with his environment.
5. Other psychotherapeutic tools
Other tools or procedures can be used such as mindfulness, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy … which accelerate or supplement all of the above.
The office of psychologists Málaga PsicoAbreu has psychologists specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, who can help you recover from your daily life.