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Diagnose Panic Disorder with the Panic Checklist

by Dr. Blumberg on October 26, 2010

Your Panic Profile and the Three Factor Model

Factor One: Your Physical feelings “Out of the Blue”

Suddenly “Out of the Blue” you get hit with a wave of heart pounding, dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness and rubbery legs, there not-there feeling, disorientation, head pressure, chest pressure, blurred vision, hot and cold flashes, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, a lump in the throat, queasiness and nausea, butterflies in the stomach, inner trembling.

Look at the Section (1) Feel items on The Panic Checklist and check off your physical feelings.

Factor Two:  Your False Catastrophic Thoughts

You worry that the physical feelings will cause something terrible to happen right now! You think I am having a heart attack, stroke, brain tumor, brain aneurysm, faint, lose control, nervous breakdown, go blind, vomit, fall down, collapse, throat close up, choke to death, stop breathing, suffocate, this will never end.

Review Section (2) Worry items on The Panic Checklist to find your False Catastrophic Thought patterns.

You get sucked into the Vicious Cycle of Panic

The more you worry heart attack, the faster your heart races. The faster your heart races, the more you worry heart attack.

Physician Reassurance: No Matter how many doctors tells you are in good health, you still have Doctor Doubt.

You have visited the Emergency Room and three different doctors have reassured you that you are in good physical health, but the strong physical feeling and terrifying thoughts won’t go away. You continue to think “if nothing is wrong, why do I continue to feel this way? Maybe the doctor missed something.  The feelings are with me all the time. This cannot be anxiety!”

Factor Three:  Your Trapped Situations

The attacks are so frightening that you live in dread of another attack…always apprehensive and on guard. You may start to fear or avoid trapped situations, where you would be unable to escape quickly to get help if another attack strikes. You may start to fear or avoid long lines, crowded stores, malls, public transportation, meetings, social gatherings, expressway driving, traveling alone, staying home alone, restaurants, amusement park rides, traffic jams, concerts, and sporting events.

Examine Section (3) Fear or Avoid items on The Panic Checklist to identify your fear or avoidance areas.

Our Panic Mission is Early Diagnosis of Panic Disorder.

*Early Diagnosis of Panic Disorder at the first point of contact with a Healthcare Professional (often in the ER) can prevent the progression of panic disorder through the three stages. Stop the progression of panic disorder with early diagnosis.  Early Diagnosis of panic disorder improves the quality of care.

The Three Stages of Panic Disorder

Stage One: The First Panic Attack

Stage Two: The Dread of Future Attacks and Anticipatory Anxiety

Stage Three: Fear and Avoidance of Trapped Situations

Take Control of panic attacks before panic attacks take control of your life. Download The Panic Checklist. Then, take your completed Panic Checklist to your doctor to confirm a diagnosis and review available treatment.

I look forward to reading your comments in the comment section below. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

*This educational information should always be used in consultation with your doctor to confirm a diagnosis and review available treatments for panic disorder.

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