Anxiety disorder

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Anxiety disorders are blanket terms covering several different forms of abnormal and pathological fear and anxiety which only came under the aegis of psychiatry at the very end of the 19th century.[1] Gelder, Mayou & Geddes (2005) explains that anxiety disorders are classified in two groups: continuous symptoms and episodic symptoms. Current psychiatric diagnostic criteria recognize a wide variety of anxiety disorders. Recent surveys have found that as many as 18% of Americans may be affected by one or more of them.[2]

The term anxiety covers four aspects of experiences an individual may have: mental apprehension, physical tension, physical symptoms and dissociative anxiety (symptoms associated with hyperventillation).[3] Anxiety disorder is divided into generalized anxiety, phobic, and panic disorders; each has its own characteristics and symptoms and they require different treatment (Gelder et al 2005). The emotions present in anxiety disorders range from simple nervousness to bouts of terror (Barker 2003).

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