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February 5, 1982

Anxiety: New Research and Changing Concepts

JAMA. 1982;247(5):697. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320300091046

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A person, usually a woman and often on leaving home, is struck by a terrifying feeling of doom and helplessness. Palpitations, dizziness, sweating, weakness, an urge to urinate or defecate, and an unnameable fear all add up to the "panic," which in turn leads to a variety of avoidance behaviors in the form of "phobias." This syndrome in one form or another represents the major focus of this book, which, as the proceedings of a conference, is a fascinating and terribly uneven review of current biologic and pharmacologic research into the problem.

In the middle of this volume is a superb essay by the senior editor entitled "Anxiety Reconceptualized." I wondered why the book had not begun with these few pages, then I realized that the papers in it were just "reported" from a conference, with only a minimum of serious editorial effort to assist the reader. Some papers are