psychoanalysis: A call for applying cognitive behavior therapy
Although the above case studies attempt to highlight the communication process that organizations commonly experience during PR challenges, there is one stage that is often impossible to document from a review of public records. This stage is the initial moment when the unfortunate event first occurs. Typically, symptoms accompanying this event begin with an emotional trigger that activates a series of chemical reactions within the physical minds and bodies of the organization’s management and staff. This is a stage where communication often feels as if it is spinning out control, and though the executives want to say something, the words do not seem to materialize. With an overwhelming feeling of anxiety, associated with silence, disbelief, and discomfort, this stage is similar to the syndrome known as Panic Disorder.
Panic attacks are the hallmark of Panic Disorder. For many who have experienced a true PR crisis with one’s organization, the symptoms below will be immediately recognizable. According to the American Psychological Association:
A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming fear that comes without warning and without any obvious reason. It is far more intense than the feeling of being 'stressed out' that most people experience. Symptoms of a panic attack include: racing heartbeat, difficulty breathing, feeling as though you 'can't get enough air', terror that is almost paralyzing, dizziness, lightheadedness or nausea, trembling, sweating, shaking, choking, chest pains, hot flashes, or sudden chills, tingling in fingers or toes ('pins and needles'), and fear that you're going to go crazy or are about to die. (www.apa.org)
One difference that appears to exist between Panic Disorder and the panic associated with a PR crisis, however, is that the anxiety...