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The effects of the September 11 World Trade Center attack on a man with a preexisting mental illness [Case Report]

Ellick, Joy Dara; Paradis, Cheryl M
Research has demonstrated an association between direct exposure to traumatic events and the exacerbation of mental illness. This report describes the case of a man who had a preexisting mental illness with psychotic symptoms and no history of psychiatric hospitalization who was evacuated from the World Trade Center area after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. He did not receive any intensive, specialized treatment during the ensuing months as his mental state deteriorated, and he eventually required psychiatric hospitalization for a full-blown psychotic episode. Given the continuing threat of terrorist attacks, recognition of preexisting psychiatric conditions and early, specialized interventions for those at risk are essential in providing effective treatment and preventing decompensation.
PMID: 15534025
ISSN: 1075-2730
CID: 3633822

Flashbulb memories of personal events of 9/11 and the day after for a sample of New York City residents

Paradis, Cheryl M; Solomon, Linda Zener; Florer, Faith; Thompson, Theresa
The present study assessed consistency of recollections of personal circumstances of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack and events of the day before (9/10), and the day after (9/12), in a sample of 100 New York City college students. The day before 9/11 represented an ordinary event. A questionnaire was administered twice, 1 wk. and 1 yr. after the 9/11 attack. Students were asked to describe their personal circumstances when hearing about the news of the World Trade Center attack and for the same time of day for 9/10 and 9/12. 18 students returned the follow-up questionnaire. Consistency of initial and follow-up responses for the central categories for both 9/11 and 9/12 of where, who, and activity was very high (9/11: "Where"--100%, "Who"--100%, "What"--94%; 9/12: "Where"--100%, "Who"--100%, "What"--80%). Recollections of 9/10 were significantly less consistent ("Where"--79%, "Who"--71%, "What"--71%). Analysis indicated that students formed vivid, consistent recollections during the events of both 9/11 and 9/12. It is likely that the events of 9/12 also became flashbulb memories, vivid recollections of traumatic events, because the emotional impact of the stressful events, i.e., police and military presence, disrupted schedules, relating to the 9/11 attack endured beyond the day of the attack.
PMID: 15460385
ISSN: 0033-2941
CID: 3633812

Panic disorder in African-Americans: symptomatology and isolated sleep paralysis [Comment]

Friedman, Steven; Paradis, Cheryl
While attention has been paid to the study of panic disorder (PD) with or without agoraphobia among Caucasians, surprisingly little empirical research within the United States has looked at the phenomenology of PD among minority groups. In this paper we present data we have collected and review other research on the phenomenology, social supports, and coping behavior among African-Americans with panic disorder. Our studies indicate that, in comparison to Caucasians, African-Americans with PD reported more intense fears of dying or going crazy, as well as higher levels of numbing and tingling in their extremities. African-Americans reported higher rates of comorbid post traumatic disorder and more depression. African-Americans also used somewhat different coping strategies (such as religiosity and counting one's blessings), less self-blame, and were somewhat more dissatisfied with social supports. The incidence of isolated sleep paralysis was, as per previous reports, higher in African-Americans. These findings, results of other research, and the implications for assessment and treatment are discussed within a semantic network analysis of panic (Hinton and Hinton 2002, this issue).
PMID: 12211324
ISSN: 0165-005x
CID: 3633402

The incidence and influence of early traumatic life events in patients with panic disorder: a comparison with other psychiatric outpatients

Friedman, Steven; Smith, Lisa; Fogel, Dov; Paradis, Cheryl; Viswanathan, Ramaswamy; Ackerman, Robert; Trappler, Brian
Early traumatic life events, including childhood physical and sexual abuse, has been associated with increased risk for panic disorder in adulthood. We examined the incidence and influence of early traumatic life events in outpatients with panic disorder (n = 101), compared to outpatients with other anxiety disorders (n = 58), major depression (n = 19), or chronic schizophrenia (n = 22). Data were obtained by means of Structured Clinical Interviews and self-report questionnaires. The incidence of childhood physical abuse ranged from 16 to 40% and for childhood sexual abuse from 13 to 43% with no significant differences among the four diagnostic groups. Across all outpatient groups a history of childhood physical or sexual abuse was positively correlated to clinical severity. Patients with panic disorder who reported childhood physical abuse were more likely to be diagnosed with comorbid depression, to have more comorbid Axis I disorders, to score higher on symptom checklists as well as reporting a greater history of suicide attempts in the past year (5% vs. 0%); or lifetime (36% vs. 15%). Similar findings were noted, but not as robustly, for patients with panic disorder who reported childhood sexual abuse. There is a high rate of adverse early childhood events across diagnostic groups in psychiatric outpatients and these events are likely to influence the severity of the disorder but are unlikely to be a unique risk factor for any one type of disorder.
PMID: 12214812
ISSN: 0887-6185
CID: 3633412

Cognitive impairment in Schwartz-Jampel syndrome: a case study [Case Report]

Paradis, C M; Gironda, F; Bennett, M
Schwartz-Jampel syndrome (SJS) is a rare, hereditary neuromuscular disorder. The prevalence of mental retardation has been estimated at 25%, however, no etiologic cause has been described. Neuropsychologic and speech language evaluations of an 8-year-old boy with SJS showed a developmental language disorder and attention deficit disorder. He performed in the impaired range on linguistic/sequential information processing tests while performing in the average range in visuoperceptual and nonverbal tests of intelligence and memory. These results suggest further investigation of the cognitive and language functioning of patients with SJS.
PMID: 9027375
ISSN: 0093-934x
CID: 3633892

Isolated sleep paralysis in African Americans with panic disorder

Paradis, C M; Friedman, S; Hatch, M
Isolated sleep paralysis (ISP) was assessed in African Americans and Whites diagnosed with panic disorder and other anxiety disorders. Participants were recruited from an outpatient clinic where they were diagnosed with panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, and simple phobia. Control groups of volunteers without a history of psychiatric disorder were included. All research participants completed a questionnaire to assess for ISP. Group differences were analysed through a series of chi-square analyses. The incidence of recurrent ISP was significantly higher in African Americans with panic disorder (59.6%) as compared with African Americans with other anxiety disorders (11.1%), African American control group participants (23%), Whites with panic disorder (7.5%), Whites with other anxiety disorders (0%), and White control group participants (6%). Recurrent ISP was found to be more common among African American participants, particularly for those with panic disorder. African Americans with panic disorder may experience recurrent ISP as a feature of their disorder.
PMID: 9231535
ISSN: 1077-341x
CID: 3633902

Orthodox Jews

Chapter by: Paradis, Cheryl M; Friedman, Steven; Hatch, Marjorie L; Ackerman, Robert
in: Cultural issues in the treatment of anxiety by Friedman, Steven (Ed)
New York : Guilford Press, 1997
pp. ?-?
ISBN: 9781572302372
CID: 3634982

Trivial or terrible? The psychosocial impact of psoriasis

Fried, R G; Friedman, S; Paradis, C; Hatch, M; Lynfield, Y; Duncanson, C; Shalita, A
BACKGROUND:Psoriasis remains a chronic disease with lesions that are often extensive and disfiguring. While the potential for psychosocial morbidity and impairment are recognized, the literature remains equivocal with regard to the prevalence and degree of this impairment. METHODS:The present study utilized a new questionnaire designed to assess the type and degree of psychosocial impairment present among psoriasis patients. The questionnaire was designed to assess major areas of psychosocial functioning and was completed by 64 patients undergoing outpatient treatment. RESULTS:Approximately half the patients were found to have moderate to extreme levels of anxiety, depression, and anger. Patients reported experiencing these negative emotional sequelae both during their disease flares and during periods of remission. Patients were also found to have moderate to extreme levels of pruritus associated with their flares. Psychologic morbidity was positively associated with length of disease flare. Significant levels of social embarrassment, life disruption, and social withdrawal were found as well. CONCLUSIONS:Psoriasis does appear to cause significant psychosocial morbidity. Greater awareness by physicians and more comprehensive treatment addressing these psychosocial components may avert, or at least minimize, some of these negative sequelae.
PMID: 7737765
ISSN: 0011-9059
CID: 3633912

Anxiety disorders in African Americans: an update [Case Report]

Paradis, C M; Hatch, M; Friedman, S
This article discusses issues involved in the diagnosis of anxiety disorders, particularly panic disorder, in African Americans. Although epidemiological studies have shown similar prevalence rates of anxiety disorders among African Americans and non-African Americans, African Americans are underrepresented among those in treatment at mental health settings or serving as clinical research subjects. In addition, few studies have researched the unique demographic, diagnostic, and treatment characteristics of African-American patients with anxiety disorders. Most clinicians therefore are not educated to consider these issues in adapting their treatment approach to affect a more successful treatment outcome for African-American patients with anxiety-disorder. This article identifies and addresses relevant cross-cultural issues.
PMID: 7932839
ISSN: 0027-9684
CID: 3633862

Characteristics of African-American and white patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia

Friedman, S; Paradis, C M; Hatch, M
OBJECTIVE:The authors explored the clinical characteristics and treatment response of African-American and white patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia who presented for treatment at an anxiety disorders clinic. METHODS:One hundred white and 43 African-American patients were evaluated using a structured interview and completed a variety of standardized rating scales. In addition, data regarding clinical characteristics, psychiatric history, childhood history, life stressors, and treatment outcome were obtained by chart review. The incidence of isolated sleep paralysis was also assessed in a subsample of patients. RESULTS:The two groups had no significant differences in psychiatric symptoms. African-American patients were more likely to use a medical emergency room, to have had childhood separations, and to have had parents who abused substances. They also reported less separation anxiety, school phobia, and affective illness in family members. In addition, African Americans, both patients and nonclinical control subjects, were more likely to report that they experienced repetitive episodes of isolated sleep paralysis. Treatment outcome was moderately successful among both African-American patients and white patients. CONCLUSIONS:Although African-American and white patients show similar symptoms of panic disorder, African-American patients had more unnecessary psychiatric hospitalizations, a higher rate of medical emergency room visits, a higher incidence of isolated sleep paralysis, greater likelihood of childhood trauma, and a greater number of life stressors. Addressing these issues in treatment is critical in reducing the dropout rate and maintaining successful treatment.
PMID: 7982696
ISSN: 0022-1597
CID: 3633872