chapter  1
10 Pages

Panic: Psychological Contributions: S. Rachman and Jack D. Maser

Our aim in compiling this volume is to inform students of psychopathology about recent findings on the subject of panic, and to promote attention to the extremely stimulating psychological perspectives on panic. This collection of chapters by psychologists and psychiatrists should prove to be a convenient medium for readers who wish to become familiar with contemporary thinking on this subject. 1

The importance attached to the concept of panic is largely a result of the research carried out by Dr. Donald Klein and his colleagues over the past 20 years. It is not surprising, therefore, that his conception of the nature of panic as essentially a biological disorder, categorically distinguishable from other forms of mental disorder, was taken as authoritative. The reader is referred to Tuma and Maser (1985) for extensive considerations of this approach. Panic: Psychological Perspectives presents alternatives to a purely biological explanation of panic. The involvement of biological events and processes is accepted, but the contributors' ideas go beyond this acceptance and their data defy a purely biological explanation.