The authors state, "underlying mechanism through which exposure to childhood abuse is associated with increased risk of panic cannot be determined based on these data alone" (p. 888). They offer several possible explanations. Exposure to abuse as a child may result in an extreme and realistic fear of threat to survival. This may be how panic disorder starts. Later, it may persist, or recur spontaneously, even without abusive conditions. In the face of a real life threat, panic is not pathological, but in childhood panic may make the child more vulnerable to panic later. Exposure to abuse may lead to biochemical changes that increase the risk of a disorder. Because the study was based on interviews with 18 to 21-year-olds, who were asked to recall past experiences, the findings could be contaminated by recall bias in which young people with mental instability might be more likely to report abuse in childhood. However, the authors' analysis concluded that no evidence suggested an association between reporting abuse and the presence of psychiatric disorders.
These four articles, which report research studies on panic disorders, suggest that panic disorders may have both psychological and biochemical origins. Children who are abused have a higher risk for panic disorder in adulthood. Mothers with panic disorders often give birth to smaller babies. Likewise, pregnancy and panic disorder is unclear. One study reported no difference in frequency of symptoms in pregnant women, while another study argued that pregnancy protects women from manifestations of panic disorder. The latter study found increased manifestations during the post-partum period, which the researchers attributed mainly to hormonal fluctuations. None of the studies addressed the fact that women are diagnosed with panic disorder twice as frequently as men are.
Bandelow, B., Sojka, F. et al. (2006). Panic disorder during pregnancy and postpartum period. European Psychiatry, 21, 495-500.
Biederman, J., Petty, C., Faraone, S.V. et al. (2006). Effects of parental anxiety disorders in children at high risk for panic disorder: A controlled study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 94, 191-197.
Goodwin, R.D., Fergusson, D.M. And Horwood, L.J. (2004). Childhood abuse and familial violence and the risk of panic attacks and panic disorder…
This correlation was more pronounced among female subjects. The results showed that of the 134 test subjects, 84.3% had no comorbid condition while the rest (15.7%) had atleast one comorbid condition. These subjects also showed a higher SASI score (p = .053). The subgroup with comorbid condition also showed a history of early onset (p < .01) and poor recovery of global functioning (p < .05) when compared to
dysfunctional behavior that strikes 1 out of 40 or 50 adults and 1 out of 100 children or 2-3% of any population. It can begin at any age, although most commonly in adolescence or early adulthood - from ages 6 to 15 in boys and between 20 and 30 in women -- according to the National Institute for Mental Health. This behavioral affliction is, therefore, more common than schizophrenia
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Help her to realize that having a child may interfere with her future career, but that many mothers have successful home and job lives. There are an infinite number of options, and a determined teenager can find a way to success. Do not skirt around the issues of danger, however, as teenagers are more likely to miscarry or have other complications with their pregnancy such as premature labor and