Panic Disorder DSM-V Revisions

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is a tool that list symptoms and criteria that mental health professionals use to diagnose a person.  A new DSM, the DSM-V, is coming out soon and minor changes will be seen in the criteria for Panic Disorder.  Below is a list of the proposed criteria for Panic Disorder DSM-V:

Panic Disorder (includes previous diagnoses of Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia and Panic Disorder without Agoraphobia)

A. Recurrent unexpected panic attacks

B. At least one of the attacks has been followed by 1 month (or more) of one or both of the following:

1. Persistent concern or worry about additional panic attacks or their consequences (e.g., losing control, having a heart attack, going crazy).

2. Significant maladaptive change in behavior related to the attacks (e.g., behaviors designed to avoid having panic attacks, such as avoidance of exercise or unfamiliar situations).

C. The Panic Attacks are not restricted to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism, cardiopulmonary disorders).

D. The Panic Attacks are not restricted to the symptoms of another mental disorder, such as Social Phobia (e.g., in response to feared social situations), Specific Phobia (e.g., in response to a circumscribed phobic object or situation), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (e.g., in response to dirt in someone with an obsession about contamination), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (e.g., in response to stimuli associated with a traumatic event), or Separation Anxiety Disorder (e.g., in response to being away from home or close relatives).


Craske M. G., et al. (2010). Panic Disorder: A Review of DSM-IV Panic Disorder and Proposals for DSM-V. Depression & Anxiety, 27, 93-112

Wittchen H. U., et al (2010). Agoraphobia: A Review of the Diagnostic Classificatory Position and Criteria. Depression & Anxiety, 27, 113-133