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Anger-associated panic attacks in Cambodian refugees with PTSD; a multiple baseline examination of clinical data.

Hinton D, et al. Behav Res Ther. 2003.


Despite the increasing recognition of the importance of anger as a key aspect of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the presence of anger-induced panic attacks has been understudied in traumatized groups. The present investigation determines the prevalence of anger-associated panic attacks among Cambodian refugees suffering from PTSD. Specific characteristics of these episodes that were examined included frequency, symptoms, and cognitions (in particular, fear of death from bodily dysfunction). In a survey of 100 Khmer patients suffering PTSD, 58% reported anger-associated panic attacks in the last month. These attacks occurred at a mean rate of 6.2 attacks a month and were characterized by extreme arousal and in 81% of these cases, fears of death due to bodily dysfunction during the anger-induced panic. Mechanisms for this high rate of fear of death during anger arousal are discussed with a focus on culture-specific catastrophic cognitions.


12732373 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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