Stein, Dan J. Department of Psychiatry, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
Carey, Paul D. MRC Unit on Anxiety and Stress Disorders, University of Stellenbosch Medical School, Tygerberg, South Africa.
Last reviewed:August 2016
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- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A group of distinct psychiatric disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Whereas fear is an adaptive emotion that is seen in many animal species, anxiety disorders are characterized by anxiety that is excessive insofar as it leads to marked distress and impairment of functioning. Anxiety disorders (Fig. 1) are among the most prevalent, disabling, and costly of psychiatric disorders, partly because they are frequently under-recognized and undertreated. Fortunately, there is growing understanding of the mechanisms underlying these disorders, and a number of effective treatments are available. The most prevalent anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, and posttraumatic stress disorder (see table). See also: Emotion; Phobia; Stress (psychology)
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