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4_Healy - Shaping the Intimate

4_Healy - Shaping the Intimate - Healy Shaping the Intimate...

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Healy: Shaping the Intimate of patients was that they had panic attacks - a term rarely heard of before 1980. When asked how long these attacks might last, sufferers would typically indicate duration of 30 minutes to 2 or 3 hours. This transforma- tion occurred even though by definition panic attacks last for 1-2 minutes, and rarely much longer.1 Underpinning the transformation in terms that people used to express or account for their dysphoria lay the fact that in the 1980s, the Upjohn pharmaceutical company sought to market a new drug alprazolam (Xanax). As part of the development process for alprazolam, Upjohn put this new agent into clinical trials for one of the conditions newly recognized by DSM-III - panic disorder. This disorder was first described by Donald Klein in the mid-1960s. The perception was that panic disorder was a severe form of anxiety and that demonstrations that alprazolam worked for this condition would lead to it displacing other benzodiazepine drugs from the anxiety marketplace (Sheahan, 2000). In the course of their develop-
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