Nocturnal panic attack: is it an another subtype?
Özlem Girit Çetinkaya, Kürşat Altınbaş, Derya İpekçioğlu, Sezgin Erdiman, Şeref Özer
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Article No: 4   Article Type :  Research
Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate if the nocturnal panic attack has different features and might be considered as a subtype or not.

Methods: Sociodemographic data form, SCID-I, SCID-II, Panic and Agoraphobia Scale (PAS), Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D), Beck Anxiety Scale, and Bakırköy Panic Disorder Behavioral Changes Form are applied to the participants. 51 of the 98 patients were suffering from Nocturnal Panic Attacks according to the inclusion/exclusion criteria.

Results: It was revealed that 47.9% of the panic disorder patients were suffering from nocturnal panic attacks. The most frequent symptoms in nocturnal panic disorder cases were experiences of feelings like drowning, lethargy, palpitation, vertigo, fear of death, and anxiety. The existence of nocturnal panic attacks is found to be related with severity of the disorder and comorbid depression. Moreover, comorbid sleep disturbances characterized with troubles in falling asleep, difficulty in sustaining sleep, feeling tired in the morning, were observed. There were sleep related avoidances and behavioral changes. Panic disorder patients with nocturnal panic attacks were found to avoid sleeping, or going to bed alone.

Conclusions: Panic disorder cases with nocturnal panic attacks had more severe symptoms. From here, it can be concluded that it might be a subtype of panic disorder.
Keywords : Nocturnal panic attack, subtype, panic disorder
Dusunen Adam The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences 2011;24:189-198
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