Fundamentals_of_Abnormal_Psychology_6e_Ch04

To breathe exercise or simply think in certain ways

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Unformatted text preview: re killed in Cincinnati in a crush to get into a concert by The Who, and in 1991 Panic’s aftermath One year after the E2 nightclub stampede, friends and family members held a memorial at the site of the nightclub for the 21 people killed in the incident. Each victim was memorialized by a cross bearing his or her name and photograph. nine young people were crushed to death in a gym stairwell while awaiting a celebrity basketball game in New York. . . Amishoov Blackwell, 30, who was knocked backwards down the stairs by the screaming crowd as he emerged from the cloakroom, lay on top of a pile of dead bodies for 30 minutes before he was freed by firefighters. “It wasn’t anything but two girls fighting,” he said. “Why did they have to spray mace?” From the article “Revellers Crushed to Death in Club,” By Jacqui Goddard, February 18, 2003, The Scotsman Note: On February 20, 2003, just three days later, in a nightclub called The Station in Warwick, Rhode Island, 100 people were killed and 200 injured as a panicked crowd raced for the front door after the heavy metal band Great White set off fireworks that began burning out of control. to breathe, exercise, or simply think in certain ways. As you might expect, participants with panic disorder experience greater upset during these tests than participants without the disorder, particularly when they believe that their bodily sensations are dangerous or out of control (Masdrakis & Papakostas, 2004). ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 119 12/10/09 11:16:26 AM 120 ://CHAPTER 4 •anxiety sensitivity•A tendency to focus on one’s bodily sensations, assess them illogically, and interpret them as harmful. •obsession•A persistent thought, idea, impulse, or image that is experienced repeatedly, feels intrusive, and causes anxiety. •compulsion•A repetitive and rigid behavior or mental act that a person feels driven to perform in order to prevent or reduce anxiety. •obsessive-compulsive disorder•A disorder in which a person has recurrent and unwanted thoughts, a need to perform repetitive and rigid actions, or both. Why might some people be prone to such misinterpretations? One possibility is that panic-prone individuals generally experience, through no fault of their own, more frequent or more intense bodily sensations than other people do (Nardi et al., 2001). In fact, the kinds of sensations that are most often misinterpreted in panic disorders seem to be carbon dioxide increases in the blood, shifts in blood pressure, and rises in heart rate—bodily events that are controlled in part by the locus ceruleus and other regions of the panic brain circuit. Whatever the precise causes of such misinterpretations may be, research suggests that panic-prone individuals generally have a high degree of what is called anxiety sensitivity; that is, they focus on their bodily sensations much of the time, are unable to assess them logically, and interpret them as potentially harmful (Wilson & Hayward, 2005). One study found that people who scored high on an anxiety sensitivity survey were five times more likely t...
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