An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of anxiety.
Panic disorder; Phobias; Panic attacks
Anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorders and panic attacks
- Specific phobias
- Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Selective mutism
Risk factors for anxiety disorders depend in part on the specific disorder. General risk factors include:
- Gender. With the exception of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), women have twice the risk for most anxiety disorders as men.
- Age. Phobias, OCD, and separation anxiety typically show up early in childhood, while social phobia and panic disorder often develop during the teen years. Generalized anxiety disorder is most often diagnosed during middle age.
- Traumatic Events. Traumatic events can trigger anxiety disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder. Phobias can develop from traumatic events or develop for seemingly no apparent reason.
- Medical Conditions. Although causal relationships have not been established, certain medical conditions are associated with panic disorder. They include hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Changes to Diagnoses of Anxiety Disorders
In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released the 5th edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Changes to anxiety disorders include:
- The APA no longer classifies obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as anxiety disorders.
- Agoraphobia is no longer a subtype of phobia. The APA now considers phobias and agoraphobia as two different types of anxiety disorders.
- Selective mutism, which typically afflicts children, is now classified as an anxiety disorder. Changes have been made to the description of separation anxiety to reflect that this disorder can affect adults as well as children.