Panic Disorder Case Study

Analyze differences between adjustments disorders and anxiety disorders
Analyze diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorders
Analyze evidence-based psychotherapy and psychopharmacologic treatment for anxiety disorders
Compare differential diagnostic features of anxiety disorders . Panic Disorder Case Study

Panic Disorder

Comparison of Adjustment Disorder and Anxiety Disorder

Adjustment disorder is the emotional response to stressing events, for instance, a breakup, death of a loved or any other major life change. Adjustment disorder does not last for long because a person eventually learns to cope with life changes (Patra & Sarkar, 2014). Anxiety disorder is the constant worrying and anxiety that significantly impairs an individual’s ability to carry out activities of daily living. Symptoms of anxiety are persistent and do not improve unless treated (Wehry et al, 2015). Anxiety disorder is not caused by a certain stressor and is a result of the personality of a person. While in adjustment disorder symptoms do not persist for more than 6 months after the stressor is removed, in the anxiety disorder the symptoms are typically long-term (Wehry et al, 2015). For instance, a person who loses a close person through death may experience adjustment disorder but clears over time whereas an individual with an anxiety disorder like PTSD or panic disorder, the symptoms can persist for a long time.

Diagnostic Criteria for Panic Disorder

According to the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, panic disorder is typified by constant panic attacks; panic attacks include the sudden intense fear that lasts for a few minutes and is characterized by symptoms such as sweating, racing heartbeat, shaking, breathlessness, nausea, chest pain, fear of losing control, dizziness, hot flushes, fear of death, abdominal discomfort, paresthesias, and derealization/ depersonalization. Additionally, at least one panic attack is followed by persistent worrying of more panic attacks and significant maladaptive behavior changes (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Panic Disorder Case Study



Psychotherapy Treatment

Exposure therapy is the prescribed psychotherapy for the treatment of the panic disorder. In exposure therapy, a client exposed to situations likely to cause panic attacks. Therefore, fear is activated and the client learns how to modify the fear system, and then new information is provided to disconfirm the pathological link allied to the fear system. The feared situation or inducement is confronted through exposure therapy and afterward, curative information for the fear memory eliminates the fear that causes panic attacks (Kaczkurkin & Foa, 2015).

Psychopharmacologic Treatment

The recommended medications include sertraline and clonazepam. Sertraline is an SSRI and FDA approved as the first-line treatment choice for panic disorder. A number of studies have demonstrated the efficacy of sertraline in improving symptoms of panic disorder (Gautam et al, 2017). In addition, clonazepam is a recommended monotherapy treatment for panic disorder and can also be utilized as an SSRI adjunct. Clonazepam has a rapid relieving effect on the symptoms of panic disorder and also empowers an individual, which enables a person to strongly face feared situations without having panic attacks. However, due to the addictive and the sedative effects of clonazepam, the medication should be administered in small doses and it should not be discontinued suddenly by withdrawn gradually to prevent the person experiencing withdrawal symptoms (Gautam et al, 2017).


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

Gautam S, Jain A, Gautam M, Vahia V & Autam A. (2017). Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Disorder (PD). Indian J Psychiatry. 59(1), S67–S73.

Kaczkurkin A & Foa E. (2015). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders: an update on the empirical evidence. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 17(3): 337–346.

Patra B & Sarkar S. (2014). Adjustment Disorder: Current Diagnostic Status. Indian J Psychol Med. 35(1): 4–9.

Wehry A, Katja B, Hennelly M, Connolly S & Strawn J. (2015). Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 17(7): 591.

Below is what the paper needs to address Thanks

Explain the difference between an adjustment disorder and anxiety disorder. Provide examples to illustrate your rationale.
Explain the diagnostic criteria for your assigned anxiety disorder.
Explain the evidenced-based psychotherapy and psychopharmacologic treatment for your assigned anxiety disorder.
Support your rationale with references to the Learning Resources or other academic resource

Panic Disorder Case Study


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