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Anxiety Disorders

Not everyone who suffers from anxiety has an anxiety disorder. There are several causes of anxiety disorders and also treatment options for the anxiety disorder. Keep reading for the definition of anxiety disorders as well as panic disorders and phobias.

It is normal to feel fearful, apprehensive, and/or anxious when facing particularly challenging, dangerous, or stressful situations. Groups of disorders referred to as anxiety disorders, and other disorders with anxiety in their name refer to conditions in which people feel fearful, apprehensive, physically tense, and/or anxious in a way that is out of proportion to what they are dealing with or in a way that is not helpful in coping with danger and stress, but disabling. Symptoms may include sweating, elevated blood pressure, palpitations, and headaches. The anxiety that is experienced may be continuous or occur in episodes, sometimes only upon the presence of some stimulus or some other onset trigger. in panic disorders, there may also be hyperventilation.

According to the DSM-IV TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision), there is both a specific group of Anxiety disorders, as well as other disorders in which anxiety is caused by the disorder or in which anxiety is concomitant with the disorder. The ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) spreads the anxiety related disorders across even more categories. We will discuss all of these systems of typing anxiety disorders.

DSM-IV-TR Main Category

The category of Anxiety Disorders includes panic disorder, with and without agoraphobia, agoraphobia without panic disorder, specific phobias (including fear of animals, specific places or situations or other specific things), social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder, and anxiety disorders that are due to a general medical condition (such as dementia) or are not otherwise specified (NOS).

DSM-IV-TR Other Anxiety Disorders

The substance-related anxiety disorders include: alcohol-induced anxiety disorder, amphetamine-induced (or amphetamine-like-induced) anxiety disorder, caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, cannabis-induced anxiety disorder, cocaine-induced anxiety disorder, hallucinogen-induced anxiety disorder, inhalant-induced anxiety disorder, phencyclidine (or phencyclidine-like) -induced anxiety disorder, sedative- hypnotic, or anxiolytic-induced anxiety disorder, and other substance-related anxiety disorders.

Other disorders that involve anxiety include: separation anxiety disorder and adjustment disorder with anxiety or a combination of anxiety and depression


In the ICD-10 classification, anxiety disorders are spread throughout. The types include: organic anxiety disorder; phobic anxiety disorders, such as agoraphobia, social phobias, and other phobias; a group of "other anxiety disorders," which includes panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder; and emotional orders that begin in childhood including separation anxiety, phobic anxiety, and social anxiety disorders of childhood.

Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

The types of treatment used varies with the specific type of anxiety disorder involved. In general, psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy, as well as medications, including antidepressants are used—as many as 60 percent of people with an anxiety disorder are also depressed, often in combination. When substance abuse is the cause of the anxiety, treatment for the abuse or addiction that leads to anxiety is, obviously, a key element of the treatment.

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