Using Cognitive Behavior Therapy to Treat Panic Disorder


UsingCognitive Behavior Therapy to Treat Panic Disorder

UsingCognitive Behavior Therapy to Treat Panic Disorder.

Peopleexperience sudden psychological, biological and physical changes whenconfronted by a potentially dangerous or unpleasant circumstance. Inmost cases, such reaction occurs in the form of a reflex response,leading to overwhelming fear. Medically, this condition is apsychological disorder that can lead to negative mental, social andhealth implications (Taherietal.,2016).To patients with heart diseases or blood sugar, it can be deadlysince it may result in heart attack or rapid rise of blood sugar. Thekey indicators of the condition are anxiety or fear that exist forsome minutes or relatively longer (Smith, 2016). In addressing panicdisorder, physicians use cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) that workstowards modification of the patient’s behavior particularly byinfluencing both positive thinking and actions.Theuse of CBT in treating anxiety enables a patient to both acquire anew understanding of situations and devise positive behavioralresponses that not only prevent adverse outcomes but also improvepersonality.

Inthe 1960s, Aaron Beck reimagined that depressed patients had aninternal private dialog in their mind (Taherietal.,2016).In the dialogue, Beck classified the thoughts undermining thepatient’s feelings as automatic thoughts. For instance, a farmermay sow seeds at the onset of the first rain of the season, however,the rain stop for some days. Deep in mind, the farmer thinks that thesowed seeds will now spoil and fail to germinate, require re-sowingwhen the rain resumes well. Such thought can lead to panic attackamong susceptible individuals especially with limited finances to buynew seeds. However, deep in mind, the farmer may reason that it wasthe beginning of the season and the rain is right on the way. Atherapist can help reason that due to the rush, their farmer will beahead of other farmers during the season. Besides, the germinationsuccess rate will be high since the seeds are well prepared for thegermination those days they remained in contact with moderatemoisture, warmth, and soil. According to Beck, negative thoughts areneither realistic nor helpful but distractive (Taherietal.,2016).Therefore, when a patient reports these thoughts during therapy, thephysician can help the patients understand them positively toovercome the difficulties.

CBTestablishes that the psychological disorder occurs in a cyclecomprising thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as the major phases(Taherietal.,2016).Simply put, patients gain certain thoughts (for example, the rainfailed and sowed seeds will not germinate) that undermine hisfeelings leading to fear, anxiousness, and anger. Finally, thesefeelings propagate certain behaviors that can be destructive. In theabove example, the patient may decide to provide water for the seedsevery evening of the days that rain fail. Such decisions or thoughts,therefore, modifies his behavior towards positivism when the seedsgrow out of the ground. Smith (2016) explains that the key toavoiding panic disorder is helping a patient identify the negativethoughts leading to a panic and modify his behaviors to avoidnegative outcomes in future.

Inbrief, behavioral therapies are effective in addressing a wide rangeof psychological problems. As explained in Arron Beck’s model ofcognitive behavior therapy, the physician should focus on identifyingthe thoughts undermining patient’s feelings and prescribe practicesthat will help modify behaviors. For instance, a physician can advisea patient always to think positively or look for alternatives whenfacing potentially unpleasant circumstance.


Smith,M. (2016). PanicAttacks and Panic Disorder: Understanding the Symptoms, Causes, andHow to Find the Right 4 November 2016, from

Taheri,E., Amiri, M., Birashk, B., &amp Gharrayi, B. (2016). Cognitivetherapy versus behavioral activation therapy in the treatment ofsocial anxiety disorder. Journalof Fundamentals of Mental Health,18(5), 294-299.