Hypochondriac Case Study Essay

1012 Words Dec 20th, 2012 5 Pages
Case Study #1 Analysis

Case Study #1
Dave woke up early one April morning feeling good. While eating his usual breakfast he noticed in the newspaper that a run was being held on Memorial Day to raise money for a charity. Although he hadn't run much in two years, he decided that he would participate in the event and that he would begin training for it that very morning. Dave felt really winded after three miles, but pushed himself to run two more. When he got home, he was sweating profusely, his heart was pounding, and his legs felt shaky and slightly numb. Fearing that he was having a heart attack, Dave began to hyperventilate and had a panic attack that lasted for approximately 20 minutes. Dave went to his doctor and was assured that
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soreness, shortness of breath). Dave experiences these body signals, becomes very fearful, and believes he is having a heart attack. Not because he is feeling the effects of a heart attack, but because he is feeling unfamiliar body signals and his mind takes him to a worst case scenario. In this case, a heart attack. In fact, he is feeling normal symptoms of overexertion and his mind overreacts and causes him to suffer a panic attack. He overlooks the possibility that these symptoms are related to his not having really run in several years. His mind causes him to think the worst. That feeling is so intense that it drives him to visit a physician. Even though the physician assures him that his heart is fine, that lingering fear exists. Now, every time he feels symptoms similar to those, it will trigger a panic attack, which he will interpret as a much more serious issue. This is the cognitive perspective of panic disorder.
Some people may have suffered from anxiety or panic attacks in the past for various reasons, such as a life trauma event. Others may simply be pre-disposed to have them due to comorbid conditions, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Conversely, there may be a genetic cause that is not yet medically defined. There may be an underlying psychological condition driving the anxiety, such as hypochondriasis or bipolar disorder. In some cases, it is a pure mystery. Any of these…

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