Panic attacks and panic disorder in the military: prevalence, comorbidity, and impairment
Kinley, Debra Jolene
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Interest in mental health problems in the military has been growing. However, the research to date has focused on posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. This study focuses on panic disorder and panic attacks, which are common, potentially disabling, and associated with a number of other mental health problems. This study is the first to examine panic disorder in detail in the military and extends the literature to include panic attacks, which have never been examined in this population. Using the Canadian Community Health Survey: Canadian Forces Supplement (n=8441), I investigated associations between panic disorder and panic attacks with a wide range of mental and social variables. Panic attacks and panic disorder were both positively associated with reduction of activities, two-week disability, psychological distress, mental disorders, suicidal ideation, and using self-soothing and avoidant coping strategies. These results have important implications for treatment and prevention efforts in the Canadian military.