Panic as Stimulation-Seeking
DOI link for Panic as Stimulation-Seeking
Panic as Stimulation-Seeking book
Certain behaviors described as "panic" – including flight, aggression, and other forms of intense agitation, all of which involve a high level of activity – can be usefully understood as upper "bands" on a continuous spectrum of intensity of stimulation-seeking. The concept of stimulation-seeking subsumes manic or hyperactive behavior, and there are many accounts of hyperactive behavior accompanying panic. The distinction between "panicky" and other forms of stimulation-seeking is also arbitrary – a matter of degree rather than kind. Stimulation-seeking gives way to stimulation-avoidance when the level of "incongruity" rises beyond a certain point, causing a switch – as described later on – from an increasing sympathetic-like pattern of physiological arousal to a parasympathetic-like one. Many seemingly unrelated behaviors, including bizarre forms of self-mutilation, can be similarly reinterpreted as stimulation-seeking behavior, for example, stamping the feet. Active suicide and so-called attempted suicide can also be reinterpreted as the outcome of stimulation-seeking following stress-induced increases in arousal.