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(p. 1) The Nature of Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia 

(p. 1) The Nature of Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia
(p. 1) The Nature of Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia

Michelle G. Craske

, David H. Barlow

, and Lauren S. Woodard

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date: 21 May 2022

This chapter provides an overview of the nature of panic disorder and agoraphobia. The key features of panic disorder are (1) one or more episodes of abrupt, intense fear or discomfort (i.e., a panic attack) and (2) persistent anxiety or worry about the recurrence of panic attacks, their consequences, or life changes as a result of the attacks. Individuals with panic disorder often avoid, feel hesitant about, or feel nervous in situations where they expect panic attacks or other physical symptoms to occur. Typically, these situations are ones where one may not be able to escape or find help. Avoiding situations from which escape might be difficult or where help may be unavailable in the event of a panic attack or other physical symptoms is called agoraphobia. The chapter then outlines the typical agoraphobia situations. The kind of treatment that is described in this program is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and it is designed to educate and to teach constructive ways of coping.

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