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J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 1987 Dec;18(4):305-16.

Panic disorder and agoraphobia: fear of fear or fear of the symptoms produced by hyperventilation?

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State University of New York, Albany.


Two versions of the fear-of-fear hypothesis of panic disorder are discussed. The fear-of-the-somatic-effects-of-fear version, which is distinguished from the classical conditioning version, is compared with the hyperventilation theory of panic disorder and agoraphobia. The fear-of-the-somatic-effects-of-fear hypothesis is criticized on the basis of its inability to explain adequately (a) the initiation of panic attacks, (b) the growth in intensity of panic attacks, and (c) the termination of panic attacks. The tenability of the hyperventilation theory is supported by evidence from programs of treatment derived from the basic assumptions of the theory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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