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Panic Disorder as a Chronic Illness

Michael R. Liebowitz, M.D.

Published: February 1, 1997

Article Abstract

Panic disorder is a chronic illness that waxes and wanes, and the prognosis is worse with comorbidagoraphobia, depression, or personality disorder. Both medication and cognitive-behavioral therapyhave been found helpful in acute treatment trials of panic disorder. However, recent studies suggest thattherapeutic gains are lost in many instances when treatment is stopped after short-term medication orcognitive-behavioral therapy. Thus, maintenance treatment appears necessary for many panic patients.Patients appear relatively stable during medication maintenance, but studies of maintenance psychosocialtreatment for panic disorder have not yet been reported. Whether combined medication and psychosocialtreatment lead to more durable effects after treatment discontinuation than are seen with individualtreatments also remains to be determined.

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Volume: 58

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