Anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder, etc.) are the most common mental illness, and it affects millions of people around the world. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, roughly 40 million people are living with anxiety in the US alone.
Criminal justice professionals are not impervious to such conditions. The nature of their job exposes them to high-stress situations and details that can induce a traumatic response. Amy Morgan is back joining the Justice Clearinghouse for a course tackling fear and panic response.
Amy Morgan is the founder of Academy Hour, a training company that provides courses for law enforcement, first responder teams, and other professions. Her extensive background in counseling, training, and behavioral sciences equipped her with the knowledge to provide facts, and practical knowledge about managing panic, fear, and anxiety.
Areas Amy covered on the webinar include:
- A video exhibiting a panic attack and its manifestation as it happens to a police officer.
- An overview of incidents that could potentially cause panic or fear.
- What panic is and its two types based on how it affects either the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system
- What anxiety is, instances when anxiety is felt and physiological manifestation of how the body reacts to anxiety
- The three types of anxiety disorders: social, generalized and panic disorder.
- What a panic attack is and how it turns into a disorder.
- Symptoms of panic attacks and disorder, and a video highlighting the moment a woman is faced with a panic attack.
- The types of treatments available for anxiety disorder through: cognitive behavioral therapy, medications and exposure therapy.
- Comprehending panic attacks and anxiety disorder on a neurological perspective by understanding the physiology of the brain.
- The various emergency response that the body undergoes during a panic attack, and what causes hyperventilation.
- The emotional and mental impact of panic and fear, what trauma is and how past trauma affects our present and future reactions.
- Understanding the difference between reality and perception, and ways to divert our attention from our perceptions by adding specific processes to our default reaction.
- De-escalation as a skill that law enforcement professionals can use not only for citizens but also for themselves if they find themselves in stressful situations.
- The importance of practicing self-awareness to identify what triggers panic and anxiety and to manage a panic attack.
- Managing situational panic through practice and gradual/systematic exposure to the stimulus that causes the fear.
- Poll questions checked the course participant’s self-awareness and whether the type of anxiety they experience is anticipatory or reactionary.