Panic Disorder

Jonathan D. Huppert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Panic disorder is characterized by a fear of future panic attacks, or a “fear of fear,” which leads to avoidance and distress. Panic disorder is often comorbid with agoraphobia, or a fear of experiencing anxiety or panic attacks in different situations. Psychological theories of panic have made significant progress since the inception of the diagnosis in the 1980s. These theories focus catastrophic interpretations of bodily sensations, also described as feared associations of bodily sensations with threat. Most psychological theories and treatments (i.e., cognitive behavioral therapies) focus on learning that bodily sensations are not dangerous through experiential exercises often called exposure or behavioral experiments. Multiple studies have demonstrated the efficacy of these interventions, and they are considered recommended, first-line treatments in most of the world. So much progress has been made in these treatments that there are self-help programs, including guided internet-based interventions that incorporate these principles and yield similar efficacy.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationComprehensive Clinical Psychology, Second Edition
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780128186978
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved


  • Agoraphobia
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Avoidance
  • Behavioral experiments
  • Catastrophic misinterpretations
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Exposure
  • Fear of fear
  • Interoceptive exposure
  • Panic disorder


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