A panic attack is a discrete
period of intense fear of discomfort accompanied by a number of defined
symptoms (see below). Some persons experience only one attack in their
lives and never experience another. However, persons who have recurrent
attacks are said to have panic disorder (PD) and can experience significan't
disability if untreated.
PD is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4th edition (DSM-IV)
as recurrent panic attacks presenting in conjunction with persistent concern
over additional episodes, worry over the significance or consequences of
the attacks, and/or a notable change in related behavior experienced for
one month (or longer) following at least one of the attacks.
PD affects between 3 and 6 million Americans. It affects women twice as
commonly as men, and can occur at any age but most often begins in young
During the past 2 decades, there have been significan't advances in the
treatment of PD, and a range of therapeutic choices is now available. Anxiety
disorders are generally treated by a combination approach utilizing both
medication and behavioral therapy.
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The Medifocus Guide on
Panic Disorder provides answers to the following important questions and
What Your Doctor Reads:
- What are the most common symptoms
of panic disorder?
- Are there any recognized risk factors
for developing panic disorder?
- What kinds of medical tests are
used to establish the diagnosis of panic disorder?
- What is the current standard of
care for the treatment of panic disorder?
- What treatment options are available
for the management of panic disorder?
- Are there any promising new developments
or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
- Who are the most notable medical
authorities who specialize in panic disorder?
- Where are the leading hospitals
and centers of research for panic disorder?
- What are the most important questions
to ask my doctor about panic disorder?
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal
articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical
journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians
and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles
that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
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- Panic: worry in the extreme.
Harvard Womens Health Watch. 2000
- The impact of comorbid mood and
personality disorders in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of panic disorder.
Clinical Psychology Review. 2000
- Recognition and acute management
of patients with panic attacks in the emergency department.
Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America. 2000
- Current concepts in the treatment
of panic disorder.
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 1999
- The impact of pregnancy and puerperium
on panic disorder: a review.
Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology. 1999
- Blocking the cycle of panic disorder.
Ways to gain control of the fear of fear.
Postgraduate Medicine. 1999
- Traumatic memories, eye movements,
phobia, and panic: a critical note on the proliferation of EMDR.
Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 1999
- Does EMDR work? And if so, why?:
a critical review of controlled outcome and dismantling research.
Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 1999
- Psychological strategies for discontinuing
Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 1999
- Subclinical symptoms of panic disorder:
new insights into pathophysiology and treatment.
Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics. 1999
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and life-threatening conditions. Each MediFocus Guide includes a
detailed overview of the condition including information about diagnosis,
treatment options, cutting-edge research, and new developments; excerpts
of important journal articles from the current medical literature focusing
on standard treatments and treatment options; a directory of leading authors
and medical institutions who specialize in the treatment of the condition;
and a listing of organizations and support groups where you can obtain
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