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In the case of Sarah it would appear that she might be suffering from a panic disorder with agoraphobia, which is characterised, by panic attacks and avoidance of open or public places

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In the case of Sarah it would appear that she might be suffering from a panic disorder with agoraphobia, which is characterised, by panic attacks and avoidance of open or public places. It is categorised within the DSM-IV as suffering recurrent panic attacks and also being deeply concerned and embarrassed about any future attacks, and that these attacks are not substance induced. The agoraphobia causes Sarah to suffer severe anxiety about being in a situation that may be difficult to escape; and the anxiety attacks Sarah suffers cause her intense fear and discomfort. It begins with feelings of anxiety and then dizziness; Sarah is then consumed by the thought of either fainting or even having a heart attack meaning that she may also suffer heart palpitations or an accelerated heart rate in these attacks. Sarah resorts to preventing the risk by staying at home and avoiding the situation altogether. Panic disorder with agoraphobia differs from schizophrenia; Schizophrenia is characterized by disruption in cognition and emotion affecting the language, thought, perception, affect, and sense of self. This array of symptoms, while wide ranging, can also include psychotic manifestations, such as hearing internal voices or experiencing other sensations not connected to an obvious source (hallucinations) and assigning unusual significance or meaning to normal events or holding fixed false personal beliefs (delusions). ...read more.


Again in this instance Sarah's history is unknown so there is no evidence to confirm that the separation anxiety theory is true. The psychoanalytic approach only follows the belief that phobias are most often found in people who had a strict upbringing as a child and were punished for bad behaviour. This approach has very little support and ignores many factors associated with phobias. Behaviourist Approach In the behaviourist approach it is believed that phobias are developed from conditioning, a neutral or conditioned stimulus producing fear, in the case of Sarah this would be that she was outside in the open and something or someone conditioned the situation that she might then fear that situation. Then the operant conditioning is established by where Sarah now avoids the given situation thus reinforcing the phobia. It could be possible that Sarah has been conditioned with this phobia, especially now that the phobia is reinforced by her avoidance of leaving the house. In order for this to be established Sarah's history would need to be identified and seen if there has been a traumatic event that may have led to this. If this approach is correct then it is possible that with conditioning that people may develop a phobia of anything. Humanistic Approach The humanistic approach focuses on self-actualisation, by where the individual discovers and fulfils their potential, however this approach was not drawn on a distinction between normality and abnormality. ...read more.


This particular technique is used with people suffering from anorexia, when they eat a certain amount of food they may be allowed a certain magazine, or item of clothing. This therapy may assist Sarah in beginning to condition her feelings and behaviour to adapt her away from the agoraphobia with panic disorder. In the other respect this therapy may also not be ethical, as it would be required to place Sarah in a scenario in which she feels truly terrifying which could be considered cruel and torturous. The biomedical model of health would define that Sarah is not responsible for her illness and that her mind and body work independently from each other. In the case of Sarah who is suffering from agoraphobia and panic disorder, this indicates that there is a clear link between the mind and body due to Sarah becoming dizzy and panicked suffering with palpitations, when out in an open area. The biomedical model also suggests that treatment is to change the physical state of the body and that only the medical profession can treat the sufferer but in this case; this would be very problematic due to the mind causing the physical illness and the sufferer only being treated for the physical symptoms which would therefore result in a reoccurrence of the illness due to the psychological needs of the Sarah being overlooked, and also the medication that would be prescribed is quite addictive and Sarah may become dependent upon it. ...read more.

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