Panic disorder – Mental Health – C-Health
Merryll Vorster testified for the defense and said that Pistorius has general anxiety disorder, a psychiatric condition that could make the athlete more likely to fight a threatening situation than flee it. Get the Latest News on the Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial But experts say Pistorius will have to undergo extensive testing to be diagnosed with the condition. Youre looking for things that would supercharge that nervous system and leave it more vulnerable, said George Everly, associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. You can have chronic exposure or traumatic event — either one works. Everly said some people with the disorder have a genetic history or have experienced traumatic events that make them hyper-sensitive to perceived threats. In severe cases, people can feel so afraid that they want to protect themselves in seemingly overzealous ways, he said, from installing extra security alarms to amassing weapons. Think of a lightning bolt going through electric currents [of the brain], he said. The result is a sensitization you get a sense of a person walking around, theyre hyper-sensitive to everything.
More: Pistorius Trial Temporarily Halted Over Anxiety Diagnosis for Blade Runner – ABC News
Exposure therapy is often a primary component of psychotherapy treatment of social anxiety disorder. Exposure therapy involves a person learning to understand the irrational basis for their fears (cognitive restructuring), teaching simple relaxation skills to practice while in the moment, and gradually being exposed to the situation which causes the anxiety. The exposure is done first in the safety of the psychotherapy office, imagining the scenario and walking through it with the therapist. As the patients confidence grows, he or she will begin to apply the skills theyve learned in the therapy session to outside world events and environments. Psychotherapy treatments have been shown to be highly effective in treating social anxiety disorder (Acarturk et al., 2009; Powers et al., 2008). Most people who try psychotherapy with a therapist who has experience in treating social anxiety disorder will find relief from their symptoms. Medications for Social Anxiety The primary class of drugs used to treat social anxiety are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
More: Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment | Psych Central
This anxiety can lead to avoidance of panic-inducing situations. What are the symptoms of panic disorder? The most significant symptoms of this disorder are the symptoms of panic attack – and the fear of those attacks. Panic attack symptoms are similar to our body’s normal responses to dangers and threats, like increased heart rate, sweating, or shortness of breath. But in panic attacks, there is no actual threat to justify the response. Learn more about common panic attack symptoms . What are the causes and risk factors of panic disorder? A cause of panic disorder has not been conclusively proven, though genetics may affect your risk.
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