This article briefly covers advances in the phenomenology, psychobiology, pharmacotherapy, and psychotherapy of the major anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, simple phobia, and social anxiety disorder). Reliable diagnosis of the different anxiety disorders is now possible, and a number of well-validated symptom severity measures are available for use in clinical and research assessments. Epidemiological and clinical surveys have demonstrated that the anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent, disabling, and costly of the psychiatric disorders. Advances in basic neuroscience and clinical research methods have contributed to understanding the neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, and neurogenetics of the anxiety disorders. Fortunately, a range of pharmacological agents and psychotherapeutic techniques have been shown to be effective and safe for the treatment of the anxiety disorders. More detailed understanding of the cognitive-affective neuroscience of the anxiety disorders may ultimately lead to future progress in treatment.
- Anxiety disorders
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