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Rebecca Buske

AP English 12
Mrs. Kirkpatrick
Panic Disorder Major Paper

“Paralyzed by the Public”

Due to the nation’s deteriorating social values and customs, along with high stress

lifestyle, several children are facing agonizing and heart wrenching abuse or mistreatment which

they are incapable of dealing with; as a coping mechanism of such unimaginable trauma, and a

result of such extreme tension in their daily lives, children often resort to anxietal reflexes,

including panic disorder. Mental illness has become a growing concern magnified by the media

and public, resulting in a prodigious stigmatization and misinterpretation which initiates a

minimization of each barrier; the expansion of perspective which surrounds panic disorder, in

particular, is just one of the many examples of uneducated public assumption. Not only is panic

disorder belittled by accusingly harsh judgement, however the illness is socially defined as an

“over exaggeration” or an “attention seeking method”,when in actuality, helpless victims are

paralyzed in their world of terror, unable to move or comprehend, while facing alarming

palpitations which affect their everyday lives. Commonly coupled with agoraphobia and a

variety of other anxiety afflictions, panic disorder forces vicious strain on social relationships,

propelling isolated victims into a lamentable shame. Moreover, media continues to cripple the

public viewpoint and manipulate the hopeful reality of the illness, by perpetuating panic disorder

as a limitation of freedom and possibility; which not only stigmatizes the misconceptions

surrounding the illness but contributes to the prejudices by labelling individuals with panic

disorder as “incapable.” Stemming from periods of extreme neglect or appallingly inhumane

abuse, the public and media are obligated to sympathise with the victims of panic disorder, not
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dehumanize them or exacerbate additional shame; such a destructive mental toll would not only

intensify the illness itself, however, it may compel victims to remain isolated or refuse to seek

out treatment. Despite the fact that treatment facilities and growing support systems are

unthinkably perceptible in society, an appalling “40% of youth do not exhibit adequate symptom

relief,” which heavily reflects victims’ hesitation to receive treatment, petrified of the public’s

assumptions and misinterpretations. (Elkins) As a whole, the media’s damaging depiction of

mental illness, significantly inflicts traumatic stigma upon the victims, which not only destructs

their sanguine outlook, however it intensifies the inaccurate assertions by the public which may

provoke a sufferer to reject treatment; by educating the public of the remarkable strength and

capability of those who experience panic disorder, as well as positively portraying the disorder in

the media, a resolution will emerge and eradicate the hindering stigma which forces victims to

despise their reality.

Due to the emergence of popular social media platforms and the installations of

magazines, books, and television among society, information has never been more accessible;

however the deceitful depiction of panic disorder which stems from lack of knowledge has

resulted in detrimental public misconception, propelling victims to stray away from treatment in

fear of the crippling stigma. A publication by the National Alliance on Mental Illness which

shadows the thoughts of an individual suffering from anxiety disorder, accentuates how “the

stigma monster...was so hideous it made [her] anxiety monsters cower with fear” and that she

“felt like a prisoner in her own mind.” (Stigma) Such chilling and disturbing diction amplifies

the mental battle which anxiety disorder victims’ are unwillingly forced to undergo, emphasizing

the isolation of a cognitive“prisoner” and the agony of their inescapable world; the piece
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denounces the inimical stigma which designs a living nightmare for victims, contrasting with the

hopeful and capable reality which is overshadowed by deceitful public notion. Furthermore, a

bias newspaper entitled “Knoxville News Sentinel” published an article with the thundering

headline, “Sevier Sheriff Defends Deputy Who Opened Fire, Suffered Panic Attack on Video”;

the piece continues to degrade helpless victims of panic disorder, while noting their “violent”

and “unpredictable” behavior. (Satterfield) Such inaccurate and stereotyped partisanship

perpetuates just a fraction of the fallacious societal stigma experienced daily by panic disorder

victims; unjustified classifications such as “violent” and “unforeseeable” exhibit a barbaric

monster who belongs behind bars, powerfully contrasting with the opposing reality. Not only do

victims tend to “avoid conflict” however, several are “extremely analytical,” acting “sensitive

toward negative stimuli and unquestionably apprehensive.” (Bayridge) The deceptive and

manipulative nature of the media not only harshly stigmatizes the contrasting reality of panic

disorder victims, however it dehumanizes the individual, unlawfully stripping sufferers of their

value, while crippling public viewpoint.

The distorted public view of panic disorder which exacerbates victims from receiving or

seeking treatment not only intensifies the illness itself, however the opprobrium forces them to

undergo shame due to traumatic misconceptions; educating the public through advocates,

programs and awareness would drastically diminish the barriers which society places between

the mentally ill and themselves, eradicating fraudulent delusions and crafting a purposeful

resolution. Tadafumi Kato, a senior team leader of Molecular Dynamics of Mental Disorders at

Riken Brain Science Institute, emphasizes after a study he conducted, “the media which

motivated the patients to receive treatment most frequently was that of books,” with only a 35%
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success rate. Kato notes that “23% of the television programs maximized patient treatment

motivation” while “internet home pages reinforced a partial 16%.” (Kato) Such staggering

statistics underline the reluctance of victims to accept and search for treatment; the fact that

internet home pages reinforced the least amount of individuals demonstrates how a majority of

stigma is perpetuated online by the destructive and callous media. With this knowledge,

extinguishing the public’s uneducated and prejudicial beliefs, emotions and behaviors becomes

achievable; considering that a majority of victims are predominantly affected by the digital

world. By regulating what harsh assumptions individuals post online, as well as promoting a

positive basis of support and hope, panic disorder will not only become more understood and

accepted within society, but there will be a reduction of misconceptions and discrimination

among the public. Additionally, organizations such as the Anxiety and Depression Association of

America (ADAA) as well as the National Alliance of National Illness (NANI), have campaigned

to terminate the stigma and provide an outlet of opportunity and equality for victims of all

disorders. In fact, the ADAA has bolstered over “22 million people over the world” offering

“current treatment and research information.”(Panic) Such an eradication of stigma has already

commenced; preeminent figures of society such as psychotherapist Jerilyn Ross, an advocate for

anxiety disorders whose vision was to connect “clinicians, researchers and patients” in order to

“advance scientific knowledge, provide training, and help those who suffer from anxiety” to

discover treatment and hope. (Panic) With adequate assistance to provoke an effectively hopeful

and positive platform for victims of mental illnesses, cogent reformers and organizations should

not only revise the standards of society, however the genuine compassion and helplessness of

panic disorder victims should be recognized. The disparaging media which only intensifies
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mental illnesses should be forced to obliterate stereotypes, acknowledging the damaging and

distressing stigma that they have created and inflicted upon victims, and offering sympathy to the

individuals who have had to survive in the living nightmare which they fabricated.

As a whole, victims of panic disorder are compelled to undergo unimaginable inhumane

stigma which is perpetuated by the media and the public, not only are such individuals labeled as

“violent” and “incapable” throughout their daily lives, however they are exposed to multiple

forms of prejudice which cause them to reject treatment. The media’s minimization of panic

disorder not only exasperates a victim’s motivation for hope and positivity, however it

deteriorates their mental and emotional well being, which forces them to live in a world of

overwhelming alarm and dread. Distorted views and misconceptions concerning anxiety and

panic disorder not only intensify the illness itself, however they magnify and stereotype

individuals who have such diseases as “dangers to society” , propelling victim's to fall deeper

into a lamentable shame, and leading them to believe the societal illusions, disregarding the

facts. Contrasted with the hopeful reality, the media utilizes prejudice and discrimination in order

to depict individuals with mental illnesses, resulting in an expansion of barriers between the

“mentally ill” and the “mentally stable.” Negative implications which are drawn from the

media’s destructive nature not only hinder the opportunity of the mentally ill, but reinforce

additional stigma. An appropriate resolution can occur once activists and organizations gain the

support that they need in order to underline the genuine issues of the media, and defend the

dejected victims. Not only do victim’s deserve a life full of positivity and capability, however the

media should recognize those with panic disorder for their overwhelming bravery in everyday
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life; advocates and organizations need the support of society in order to proclaim a memorable

message which will bolster the mentally ill, that they are strong, capable, and worthy.
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​ Appendix

A diagram demonstrating the symptoms/thoughts of an

individual about to suffer from a panic attack.

Barends. “Interesting Panic Attack Facts .” Barends

Psychology Practice,

This graph depicts how panic disorder is

very rare, making it ironic that there is such
a large amount of stigma perpetuated from
the media affiliated with it.

Begum, Shumila. “What Percentage of

People Have Mental Disorders?” Support
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Works Cited

Bayridge. “Common Symptoms and Personality Traits.” Anxiety & Depression Treatment


This website is extremely credible; considering that the articles and statistics are written

and published by certified specialists and researchers at the facility. The treatment center offers

treatment options for a variety of different disorders, ranging from panic disorder to bipolar

disorder. Not only does the information on this website significantly supplement my essay,

however it provides a variety of perspectives within the facility in order to strengthen the

credibility. The source contains both quantitative and qualitative data, however it is heavier on

the quantitative side. For example, the website notes that “16% of adults will experience

depression/anxiety at some point in their life” and “about 97 percent of those reporting

depression/anxiety also reported that their work, home life and relationships suffered as a result.”

This source best propels my argument because it provides a variety of necessary information

which will enhance my essay; not only does it stress the important information about panic

disorder, ranging from the percentage of adults who will get it in their lifetime, and how the

disorder affects their day to day lives and relationships, however it supplies a credible platform

which is the basis for my paper.

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Elkins, R. Meredith, et al. “Moderators of Intensive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for

Adolescent Panic Disorder: the Roles of Fear and Avoidance.” ​Child & Adolescent

Mental Health​, vol. 21, no. 1, Feb. 2016, pp. 30–36. ​Academic Search Premier​,

EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/camh.12122. Accessed 30 Nov. 2017.

This source is extremely credible, considering that it is a database and was accessed

through on the Coventry High School website. Meredith Elkins, owning a PhD,

is a clinical psychologist specializing in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety,

mood, and related disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults. She is

experienced in providing evidence-based interventions through individual, group, family,

and behavioral parent training formats. Dr. Elkins has established integrated lines of

research encompassing the development, identification, and treatment of anxiety

disorders in childhood. Dr. Elkins is currently a staff psychologist at the McLean Anxiety

Mastery Program (MAMP), an intensive group-based outpatient program for children and

adolescents with anxiety disorders and OCD. This source contains both qualitative and

quantitative data, however it is heavier on the qualitative side. The article explores how

“Panic disorder with or without agoraphobia is a debilitating condition that commonly

onsets in adolescence and early childhood.” Such information\\ can truly enhance my

paper, especially because it analyzes how panic disorder is often accompanied by

agoraphobia, which is a factor that is important to my essay. This source is completely

necessary in order to propel my argument about the stigma affiliated with panic disorder,

particularly because it focuses on how panic disorder is typically coupled with another

form of mental handicap, and several people focus on the panic itself instead of the

symptoms and circumstances which provoke an attack to occur.

Kato, Tadafumi, et al. “Efficacy of Media in Motivating Patients with Panic Disorder to Visit

Specialists.” Psychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, vol. 53, no. 4, Aug. 1999, pp.

523–526. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost,

doi:10.1046/j.1440-1819.1999.00575.x. Accessed 30 Nov. 2017.

This source is extremely credible, considering that it is a database and written by

Tadafumi Kato, the senior team leader of Molecular Dynamics of Mental Disorders,

specializes in Bipolar disorder, Mitochondria, and Epigenetics. He also acts as the

Director, BTaC of RIKEN BSI Takeda Collaboration Center (BTaC), and he obtained

both his M.D. and Ph.D. This source has much heavier quantitative data; it analyzes how

“ 86% of patients who were having panic-like symptoms were motivated by TV

programs” and stresses that “the proportion of patients who were diagnosed as having

anxiety disorders were 68% motivated.” Because my paper analyzes how the public

stigmatizes panic disorder, it is interesting to note that panic-like anxiety consumed

individuals were more motivated by television. Such research will propel my ideas in my

essay, and craft a stronger argument.

Satterfield, Jamie. “Sevier Sheriff Defends Deputy Who Opened Fire, Suffered Panic Attack on

Video.” Knox News, Knoxville News Sentinel, 17 Oct. 2017,

This website is extremely credible, considering Jamie Satterfield is an award-winning


journalist with more than 28 years of experience. She specializes in the law with

emphasis on criminal courts, both state and federal, and police. This source includes both

quantitative and qualitative data, however a majority of the information throughout the

article is qualitative. For example, the article stresses that “a video depicts a violent

individual who later has a panic attack.” Such ideas are crucial for my research analysis

for my paper, specifically because I am focusing on how the media stigmatizes mental

disorders, particularly panic disorder. This source best propels my argument because it

provides a variety of necessary information which will enhance my essay; not only does

it stress the important information about panic disorder, ranging from the stigmatized

headline and a perpetrated outlook, however it supplies a credible platform which can be

used as the basis for my paper.

The Stigma of Anxiety Disorder.” NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness,

This website is extremely credible; The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) is a

nationwide grassroots advocacy group, representing families and people affected by mental

illness in the United States. NAMI provides psychoeducation,research and support for people

and their families impacted by mental illness through various public education and awareness

activities.There are over 1,000 NAMI chapters, represented in all 50 U.S. states.NAMI has 9

signature programs, many which have been shown to be efficacious in research studies. This

website contains mostly qualitative data, it notes that in young children, mental health symptoms

include, “Changes in school performance, excessive worry or anxiety, for instance fighting to

avoid bed or school, hyperactive behavior, frequent nightmares, frequent disobedience or


aggression, along with frequent temper tantrums.” This information will be useful for my paper,

because it discusses how children adapt to mental disorders as they age, while providing a

supportive platform.

“Panic Disorder .”, Anxiety and Depression Association of America ,

This website is very credible considering that the Anxiety and Depression Association of

America (ADAA) is an international nonprofit membership organization and a leader in

education, training, and research for anxiety, depression and related disorders. More than 22

million people from around the world visit the ADAA website annually to find current treatment

and research information and to access free resources and support. This resource contains much

more quantitative data, it discusses how “About 2-3% of Americans experience panic disorder in

a given year and it is twice as common in women than in men.” This is crucial, because as

background information it is important to note that [panic disorder can interfere a lot with daily

life, causing people to miss work, go to many doctor visits, and avoid situations where they fear

they might experience a panic attack. The interference is greatest when people also have

agoraphobia, as well as panic disorder. Such information will be vital for my paper when I

analyze gender and statistics, especially which gender has a greater chance of obtaining the