Several psychiatric disorders are associated with panic disorder (PD), although the nature of their relationships is unknown. The purpose of this study was to a) document comorbid associations with both PD and infrequent panic (IP), and b) investigate the nature of the relationships among these disorders. This community-based study included 97 adults who met DSM-III-R criteria for panic attacks compared with 97 matched controls. Psychiatric comorbidity was assessed using the SCID and SCL-90. Subjects with either PD or IP had higher rates of psychiatric comorbidity than controls. PD differed from IP only in its higher rate of phobic avoidance. Factor analysis found three factors: PD with phobic avoidance; substance abuse; major depression with obsessive compulsive disorder, social and simple phobias. Only phobic avoidance began secondary to panic onset. In conclusion, this study supports the PD-agoraphobia DSM-IV grouping while lending support to the common diathesis hypothesis for anxiety and affective disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health