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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 6 18:14 Panic Disorder with and without Agoraphobia • Panic Disorder : the occurrence of panic attacks that often seem to come “out of the blue” o According to DSM-IV-TR criteria the person must have experiences recurrent, unexpected attacks and must have been persistently concerned about having another attack or has anticipatory anxiety Anticipatory anxiety : worried bout the consequences of having an attack for at least a month o Panic attack : an abrupt onset of at least 4 of 13 symptoms, most of which are physical, although three are cognitive Cognitive symptoms Depersonalization (a feeling of being detached from one’s body) or derealizaiton (a feeling of the external world is strange or unreal) Fear of dying Fear of “going crazy” or “losing control” Nocturnal panic: panic attacks that occur during relaxation or sleep • Agoraphobia : fear of being in public places o They are scared they will have a panic attack in a public place o Typically people with agoraphobia are also frightened by their own bodily sensations, so they also avoid activities that will create arousal such as exercising, watching scary movies, drinking caffeine, and even engaging in sexual activity o People have agoraphobia without having panic attacks This is more rare • Prevalence, Age of Onset, and Gender Differences o Panic disorder often states in the late teenage years but the average age of onset is 23 to 34 o Twice as prevalent in women than men • Comorbidity with Other Disorders o 83% of people with panic disorder have at least one comorbid disorder • The Timing of a First Panic Attack o First panic attack frequently occurs following feeling of distress or some highly stressful life circumstance • Biological Causal Factors o Genetic Factors Panic disorder has a moderate heritable component This genetic vulnerability is manifested at a psychological level at lest in part by the important personality trait called neuroticism o Panic and the Brain Increases activity in the amygdala plays a central role in panic attacks Amygdala : a collection of nuclei in front of the hippocampus in the limbic system of the brain that is critically involved in the motion of fear • Amygdala is the central area involved in what has been called a “fear network” o Biochemical abnormalities People with panic disorder are much more likely to experience panic attacks when they are exposed to various biological challenge procedures than are normal people or people with psychiatric disorders Ex: some of these lab tests involve infusions of sodium lactate or...
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- Fall '07
- Abnormal Psychology