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Panic probes and the identification of panic: a historical and cross-cultural perspective

, : Panic probes and the identification of panic: a historical and cross-cultural perspective. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 26(2): 137-153

This article reviews the historical development of the category of panic disorder in the United States, particularly the shifting perspectives on both what causes panic and how the presence of panic should be determined. The notion that panic attacks of a panic-disorder type must be "out of the blue" and "unexpected," except in the case of triggering by a particular place (i.e., agoraphobia), is critiqued. The authors illustrate that a meaningful epidemiological determination of panic rates in other cultural groups must be preceded by a detailed ethnography that ascertains the catastrophic cognitions, core symptoms, and typical cues of panic attacks in that particular context.


PMID: 12211322

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