n South African Journal of Psychiatry - Panic disorder : The South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) Treatment Guidelines for Psychiatric Disorders

Volume 19, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1608-9685
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6786



Panic disorder (PD) is a prevalent anxiety disorder with lifetime prevalence rates ranging from 1.1% to 3.7% in the general population and 3.0% to 8.3% in clinic settings. The presence of agoraphobia in patients with PD is associated with substantial severity, comorbidity (e.g. major depression, other anxiety disorders, alcohol abuse) and functional impairment. The disorder is more common in women than in men, with a 3:1 ratio in patients with agoraphobia and 2:1 in patients without agoraphobia. While panic attacks are a core feature of PD, panic attacks are also experienced by patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias. However, unlike in PD, these are typically cued by exposure to or anticipation of specific anxiety-provoking situations.

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