Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 179–198 | Cite as

Panic Disorder in African-Americans: Symptomatology and Isolated Sleep Paralysis

  • Steven Friedman
  • Cheryl Paradis


While attention has been paid to thestudy of panic disorder (PD) with or withoutagoraphobia among Caucasians, surprisinglylittle empirical research within the UnitedStates has looked at the phenomenology of PDamong minority groups. In this paper wepresent data we have collected and review otherresearch on the phenomenology, social supports,and coping behavior among African-Americanswith panic disorder. Our studies indicate that,in comparison to Caucasians, African-Americanswith PD reported more intense fears of dying orgoing crazy, as well as higher levels ofnumbing and tingling in their extremities. African-Americans reported higher rates ofcomorbid post traumatic disorder and moredepression. African-Americans also usedsomewhat different coping strategies (such asreligiosity and counting one's blessings), lessself-blame, and were somewhat more dissatisfiedwith social supports. The incidence ofisolated sleep paralysis was, as per previousreports, higher in African-Americans. Thesefindings, results of other research, and theimplications for assessment and treatment arediscussed within a semantic network analysis of panic (Hinton and Hinton 2002, thisissue).

African-Americans isolated sleep paralysis panic disorder 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Friedman
    • 1
  • Cheryl Paradis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryState University of New York, Downstate Medical CenterBrooklyn
  2. 2.Marymount Manhattan CollegeNew York

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