Panic disorder and agoraphobia: a sufferer's perspective. Academic Article uri icon


  • This is a story by a woman about her life with panic, agoraphobia, and depression. She tells us about the clinical features, the heritable components, the environmental contributions, the developmental penalties, the social consequences, and the therapies for these conditions far more vividly than even the most dramatic of our systematic studies. But this is more than a clinical vignette. It is a human story of courage to proceed undaunted in the face of terror and despair to ultimately prevail over the most formidable internal obstacles. Nowadays I rarely see Mrs. Edwards. She is too busy living. I know she is productively and gratifyingly employed and engaged with her family. Usually I learn of her adventures here and abroad through letters written in the same captivating style as the autobiography below. I have witnessed Mrs. Edwards reading her story to others with similar problems, to medical students, and to psychiatric residents. The impact invariably was stunning. Making her acquaintance even in the dry print medium is an unforgettable learning experience.

publication date

  • July 1998