Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 145–147 | Cite as

Panic Diaries: A Genealogy of Panic Disorder, by Jackie Orr

Duke University Press, Durham and London ISBN:
  • Bradley Lewis

What does the personal experience of psychic distress have to do with the social forces surrounding that experience? Do psychiatric conditions come primarily from individual pathology (conflicted psyches and unbalanced neurotransmitters), or do psychic difficulties come primarily from social turmoil and anomie? More specifically, what, if any, connection can be made between the twentieth century epidemic of anxiety and panic; the dramatic rise of neuropsychiatry and blockbuster psychopharmaceuticals; and the many social horrors and injustices occurring during the same time period?

Sociologist and psychiatric consumer, Jackie Orr, provides a fascinating exploration of these questions that makes ideal reading for medical humanities scholars. Panic Diaries simultaneously combines the experiential perspective of memoir, the academic sophistication of social theory, and the creative imagination of a performance art. This is no ordinary pathography.

Orr begins her foray into the complicated...


Panic Disorder Xanax Agoraphobia Systematic Interpellation Complicated Terrain 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gallatin School of Individualized StudyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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