Taking into consideration the fact that functions such as consciousness, circulation, and respiration are vital for survival, it is unsurprising that particular defenseless people will be hypersensitive to any signs that they will lose consciousness, that they will lose their breath, or that their hearts will stop beating (Root, 2000). Moreover, a number of patients are predominantly terrified of symptoms that signify that they could be losing control over vicious urges directed toward others or themselves (Stein & Hollander, 2002). Likewise, a number of patients are particularly responsive to indications of behavioral or psychological ‘dyscontrol’ due to the probable effects of being hospitalized for ‘wild’ or ‘mad’ behavior, or perhaps shamed for uninhibited behavior (Stein & Hollander, 2002). The patient’s anxiety that a critical organ, such as the brain, lungs, or heart, or behavioral mechanism is about to stop working is a fundamental element of the cognitive mechanism of panic disorder (Taylor, 2004). Due to these concerns, patients vulnerable to panic attacks have a tendency to focus their attention on any mental or bodily encounters that are not explainable as normal.
A second attribute of panic disorder that challenges clinician and offers a profitable opportunity for the psychologist is the fixation of attention on the idea of an imminent tragedy. The tragedy that they fear subsequent to the start of the attack is not just the development of the panic disorder, but the likelihood of the much serious different explanation of their symptoms; specifically, that at this point it may not be the ordinary panic, but a swiftly grave process or a severe disruption of behavioral or mental functioning (Hurley, 2007). Besides the fixation on inner consciousness, the idea of approaching disaster absorbs the core of the patient’s thoughts and is usually so realistic that the