Panic and Anxiety Disorder is a universal psychological phenomenon. Almost everyone at some point of time in their life or the other has had a tryst with this disorder. If left without any treatment, this predicament can lead to many problems including a loss of control over the environment and withdrawal symptoms.
Understanding the disorder:
In this context, let us try to decode this disorder from a layman’s perspective. Panic and Anxiety Disorder is nothing but a sudden upsurge of bodily anxiety and the consequent feeling of potential danger. Under such circumstances, a patient might just start to breathe heavily and the heart might start to pound even leading to cardiac arrests. In most of the cases, an overwhelming sense of fear and imminent death leads to the situation. Generally, the symptoms include chest discomfort, a feeling of choking, sweating, dizziness, shaking and loss of control over the body and situation. However, the entire disorder stems from the patient’s thought process and not from practical evidences. In fact, the patient’s cognition of the anxiety factor leads to a belief that in turn results in the thoughts of danger and death. Although, most of the panic attacks subside after a period of about 20 to 30 minutes, in certain cases it has been found to last even longer.
Employment of CBT to cure the disorder:
It is important to ensure that this disorder doesn’t recur at regular intervals of time. Thus, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is an ideal way to deal with the cognition of the patients and removing the imminent fears emanating from the same. This therapy primarily deals with the behaviour-pattern and the thinking structure that cause the attacks. This therapy is a process for the patient to look at his/her fears from a realistic and practical perspective. Thus, the use of this technique is a way to remove the disorder from its roots. Unlike many other therapeutic methods to deal with the problem, CBT tries to solve it in a gradual and time-bound manner. This therapy tries to find out the patient’s worst fears and decode them into components such that the patient realizes the impracticality of his fears. Once the patient understands that nothing dangerous is supposed to happen, the fears automatically subside. However, it needs to be remembered that the process can’t be accomplished in one single sitting and requires the administration of a definite structure.
The therapists at the Centre for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy have years of experience and have found success using CBT for treating PTSD, panic attacks and other such disorders.