Panic disorder | Mental health | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

Panic disorder | Mental health | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy


– [Voiceover] Someone with panic disorder has frequent and repeated episodes of something called panic attacks. These panic attacks are
periods of intense fear and discomfort that
something bad’s gonna happen. These panic attacks can
happen even in familiar places where no real threats exist. They usually come about suddenly and peak within the
first 10 to 20 minutes. But sometimes symptoms can
last for an hour or more. People having a panic attack feel like there’s some real threat or danger. And when we feel this way, our bodies react accordingly, right. This reaction could be
so severe and so intense that some people having panic attacks feel as if they’re having a heart attack or some other life-threatening illness when they’re actually not. Symptoms that might come
about during a panic attack are things like chest pain or discomfort, dizziness, fear of dying, losing
control, or impending doom, feelings of choking,
detachment, or unreality, nausea or upset stomach, numbness or tingling in
the hands, feet, or face, palpitations, which is like this feeling that your heart’s pounding, a shortness of breath, sweating, chills or hot flashes, and trembling. If you experience four or
more of any of these symptoms, you might be diagnosed
with a panic disorder. Unfortunately, panic
attacks can’t be predicted and often happen without any particular trigger being involved. With that said, it’s
important to have treated as soon as possible before the patient starts to avoid places where
they’ve happened in the past, which is called avoidance. And this is where a patient
that’s had a panic attack before stops doing activities that they think trigger the panic attacks. For example, if someone has a panic attack while they’re in an elevator, they might think that that
elevator triggered the attack. And so they’ll start
avoiding going on elevators. Although this might help temporarily with the fear of attack
and loss of control, it makes normal daily
life extremely difficult and doesn’t usually even stop
the attacks from happening. Along the same lines,
somebody might develop anxiety just thinking about the possibility of having a panic attack. And this is called anticipatory anxiety. This can result in the
person becoming reclusive and choosing to endure the attacks alone rather than in public, where they think there’s
no chance of escape and slight chance of help. Sometimes this can lead to the development of a specific phobia called agoraphobia, which is a fear of being in
public or crowded spaces. Like I mentioned, though, the
cause of each panic attack usually isn’t linked to
any specific trigger. And the cause of having panic disorder in general is unknown. Though it’s been found to run in families, which hints at there being
some sort of genetic component, also about twice as many women as men experience panic disorder, though there hasn’t been
found to be any differences between ethnic, economic,
or geographic backgrounds. Usually panic disorder
starts in the patient’s 20s. And sometimes a stressful
event comes before the disorder and triggers the first attack. But usually there aren’t
any specific events to associate with the attacks. Once it’s been diagnosed by
a mental health professional, many patients will seek treatment. And like most other mental disorders, this involves either
psychotherapy, medication, or both, depending on what that particular
patient responds best to. Now, cognitive behavior therapy,
a form of psychotherapy, is typically very effective and consists of five fundamentals when
applied to panic disorder. In the first stage,
called the learning stage, the patient learns about panic disorder, including how to identify the symptoms. They also go over the treatment plan. And then in the second stage, which is called the monitoring stage, the patient will keep a diary
to monitor the panic attacks and record any situations
that might produce anxiety. In the third stage called
the breathing stage, they’ll learn relaxation techniques to control breathing and help combat the physical reactions of a panic attack. And the fourth stage is called rethinking where the therapist helps the
patient change their beliefs about the physical symptoms
from totally catastrophic to something more
realistic and less harmful. And finally, in the exposing stage, the therapist helps the
patient expose themselves to situations that cause
frightening physical sensation and gradually increases
the intensity level so that the patient starts to
feel more and more comfortable being around whatever it is
that produces the anxiety and hopefully will reduce the likelihood of having a panic attack in the future. Besides cognitive
behavior therapy, though, there are also medications
that can be prescribed. If these are chosen, antidepressants like selective serotonin
reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are the most commonly
prescribed medications for panic attacks. Anti-anxiety medications can
sometimes also be prescribed like benzodiazepines. And these will tend to have this calming and relaxing effect, although these are
typically less preferred, since there’s a higher
risk of becoming dependent. Finally, anti-seizure medications
can also be prescribed in very severe cases. Overall, between these treatment options, many patients that get
appropriate psychiatric care can recover and return to
normal life activities.

Comments

(3 Comments)

  • Bryan Ring

    K pins or Z bar's help as well

  • Who's Tinah

    Khan academy medicine: Hey Osmosis, can I borrow your homework on Panic disorder?? I'll only change the color in the background .

  • Jeffrey Gicharu

    Jesus christ i just suffered one felt like i was going insane. Please may i never feel this again

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