Panic Disorder

1872 Words8 Pages
About ten years ago, when I was still a little boy, my aunt Tina was diagnosed with panic disorder. I heard that word very often during my family gatherings, when my family members were talking about my aunt's condition and everyone was worried about her. At that time, I was still too young to understand what was really wrong, or what all those big words meant. But, I often heard the word therapy and medication in reference to my aunt. Everybody looked very worried when her condition was discussed. Now that I am ten years older and taking a psychology course, I often think back and wonder what experience means in the professional world. In the frame of this current writing assignment I want to take the time out to find out what actually happened to my aunt and what she really experienced at this time. In order to fulfil this assignment, I will present findings from literature on panic disorder, and some of the experiences that my aunt shared with me in a recent conversation, in order to make make comparisons between literature and the actual experience that my aunt had. In Summery, it appears that panic disorder is characterized by an experience of unable terror that can impair peoples life on many levels and can also cause additional problems such as other anxiety problems and even depression. During the conversations with my aunt, I asked her how she experienced her condition. She said "It started out as one panic attack and then it increased.". When I asked her how those attacks felt to her, she was not really able to describe them in detail. In fact, it was very hard for her to describe what had happened to her, altogether. However, she said " it's a totally experience of terror that I never felt before or after that. You have a lot of fear, and you have no idea from what, or where it's coming from". She remembered :"sometimes, it felt like something was suffocating me. My heart was racing and I was scared, because I did not know what was happening I thought I had a heart attack and I was afraid that I would die". Actually, my aunt encountered many of the symptoms for panic disorder such as, "episodes of intense fear dyspnea (shortness in breath), losing control, shaking, and chills (Glass, 2003 pp.

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