Panic Disorder: A Critical Analysis

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Guilford Publications, Aug 5, 1994 - Psychology - 276 pages
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In recent years, panic disorder has become one of the most researched syndromes in psychopathology. It has also been a topic of intense controversy, with sharp disagreements along disciplinary lines among biological psychiatrists, behavioral psychologists, and epidemiologists concerning its syndromal validity, epidemiology, etiology, and treatment. Filling the need for a balanced, in-depth analysis of the most current research and theory on all aspects of the syndrome, this unique volume provides a comprehensive, integrative exploration of panic disorder.

Maintaining throughout that panic disorder is a psychobiological syndrome characterized by dysfunction at the cognitive as well as the physiological level, the book begins with a discussion of the phenomenology of the disorder that covers:
* Origins of the panic disorder concept
* The evolution of panic disorder in DSM-III, DSM-III-R, and
DSM-IV
* Qualitative distinctions between panic, anxiety, and fear
* Alternative subtyping schemes
* Variants of panic
* Direct assessment

Extensive reviews of the epidemiology, biological aspects, and psychopharmacologic treatments are presented in subsequent chapters, followed by detailed explorations of psychological aspects, including predictability and controllability, and psychological treatments, including cognitive-behavioral techniques. A thorough discussion of the syndromal validity and etiology of the disorder is provided, and metatheoretical issues such as the cross-cultural and philosophical aspects of the disorder are also addressed. The final chapter presents conclusions about the current knowledge of panic, and looks toward future developments.

An important resource for all psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health professionals, and researchers interested in panic disorder, this book will also be a valuable text for psychiatry residents, medical students, and graduate students in clinical and counseling psychology.

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About the author (1994)

Richard J. McNally, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, is the author of 97 articles and book chapters, most concerning anxiety disorders. He served on the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV subgroups for Simple Phobia and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and on the National Institute of Mental Health's Committee on Standardized Assessment for Panic Disorder Research. Dr. McNally is also an Associate Editor of Behavior Therapy, and his research on panic disorder has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

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