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Panic attacks sexual abuse

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Two studies examined the contributing factors for panic symptoms following trauma. Prior trauma, psychiatric history, crime characteristics, and peritraumatic dissociation were assessed. Posttraumatic panic was modestly predicted by childhood sexual abuse CSA experiences, a history of Anxiety and Depression, and peritraumatic dissociation. Presence of significant arousal during trauma predicted frequency of posttrauma panic attacks, but not its severity. In contrast to Study 1, prior history of PTSD, perception of life threat, and the index trauma being a sexual assault all predicted posttrauma panic, whereas prior trauma exposure and depression did not. These findings are discussed in terms of cognitive and arousal factors that may influence posttrauma panic.

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