Case Study Details

Dave is a 41-year-old male who was referred by his primary care physician after presenting to the ER with difficulty breathing. Dave’s physician was unable to find a medical explanation for his symptoms, which left Dave feeling confused, stressed, and angry. Over the last 6 months, Dave has had several instances where he felt an intense fear that would reach a peak within a few minutes. During these instances, he would also experience sweating, heart palpitations, chest pain and discomfort, and shortness of breath. At times, Dave worried that might die. As a result, Dave has persistent worry about having another attack. In addition, he has begun to avoid unfamiliar places and people where it may be difficult to get help in the event of another panic attack. The panic and associated avoidance are significantly impacting Dave’s life as he has been turning down social invitations, making excuses to stay at home whenever possible, and relying on his wife to drive their children to their various activities. Although she was understanding at first, Dave’s wife has grown frustrated with what she perceives as his irrational fear of panic attacks.

Symptoms

  • Agoraphobia
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Worry

Diagnoses and Related Treatments

1. Panic Disorder

The following treatments have empirical support for individuals with Panic Disorder: