The phenomenology of panic attacks in panic disorder with and without agoraphobia.
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The frequency of symptoms during panic attacks and anticipation of the panic consequences were compared in patients with the subtypes of panic disorder (PD). Patients with moderate and severe agoraphobic avoidance reported that they had experienced more symptoms than patients with an uncomplicated PD (without agoraphobia [AG]); they also experienced almost all of the symptoms more frequently, with the difference being significant for a quarter of the examined panic symptoms. Panic patients with moderate and severe AG were also significantly more concerned about the loss of control and social and physical consequences of panic attacks. Taken together, these findings suggest that the severity of panic attacks, defined as the number of panic symptoms, along with a variety of anticipatory fears about the consequences of the attacks may contribute to the development of AG in panic patients.