Research Paper: Anxiety Disorders - Panic

Pages: 5 (1371 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Thus, as far as research and current intervention programs on panic disorder are concerned, combined interventions are recommended to be more successful in treating panic disorder than the application of a specific intervention only.

Panic disorder in the United States has been identified extensively through demographic studies on health. In one of the studies on mental health and vulnerable or at-risk groups to it, research proponent Young (2001) identified individuals afflicted with panic disorder are profile to be between the ages 30-50 years old, mostly white Americans, and are common among individuals who just attended a few years in college or have only attained high school level of education or less (58). This demographic profile provides an insight into the nature of panic disorder itself, implying that interventions must be responsive to the nature and sensibilities of individuals who fit this profile and are suffering from panic disorder. More understanding of the demographic background of panic disorder patients would aid the counselor or psychologist with insights as to how the individual is likely to behave during panic attacks, and what are the intervention programs best suited for them.

The social environment of the individual has been strongly linked to the occurrence of panic attacks and perpetuation of panic disorder. In a meta-analysis study conducted by Hettema (2001), his group of researchers found out that panic disorder is significantly linked with "a familial component in liability to panic disorder" (1569). Going further into his study's findings, there were indications that the etiology of panic disorder could actually be linked with genetic factors or inheritance, determining that "genes affect panic disorder similarly in men and women" (1570). The influence of both the individual's immediate social environment, coupled with the finding that panic disorder could be inherited or genetically transmitted within the family, provides insights about the disorder itself, particularly in determining the history of the disorder for the patient. However, the meta-analysis only provides indications that these are the possible factors that could contribute to the etiology of the disorder, but it does not definitely claim that panic disorder is caused by genetic inheritance and/or by the individual's social environment. More intensive studies such as Hettema's must be conducted to prove the consistency or reliability of the results reported.

Looking into the history of panic as an anxiety disorder, I realize that panic disorder itself has been susceptible to the schools of thought that have prevailed and passed through the years. In fact, I realize that the field of abnormal psychology itself are subjected to numerous changes as new perspectives, theories and models are introduced that would inevitably change the way people in general and psychologists specifically will look at the disorder and develop programs to treat or alleviate the patient's condition. Panic disorder was thought initially as mainly confined within the mind of the individual, with panic attacks serving as physical manifestations of those "catastrophic thoughts." It eventually evolved as a disorder that begins with the mind, and ends with a bodily response that is scientifically explained in terms of the disorder's internal processing. The shift from speculation to science has shown that the field of abnormal psychology and the study of panic disorder have improved significantly over the years.

The recommended treatment of adopting different interventions would be advisable indeed as long as the desired results are achieved. Further, personally, interventions that are 'healthily' applied/implemented would be the best treatment for panic disorder patients. Adopting a new behavior through encouragement and motivation would be highly recommendable, as this intervention program has been cited as effective and does not result to emotional distress or exhaustion (of the panic disorder patient).

References

Barlow, D. (2000). "Cognitive-behavioral therapy, Imipramine, or their combination for panic disorder." Journal of American Medical Association, Vol. 283, No. 19.

Bouton, M. (2001). "A modern learning theory perspective on the etiology of panic disorder." Psychological Review, Vol. 108, No. 1.

Hettema, J., M. Neale, and K. Kendler. (2001). "A review and meta-analysis of the genetic epidemiology of anxiety disorders." American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 158.

Young, A. (2001). "The quality of care for… [END OF PREVIEW]

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