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Anxiety disorders 

Anxiety disorders
Chapter:
Anxiety disorders
Author(s):

Ted Liao

, and Steve Epstein

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0634
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date: 02 March 2021

Anxiety is a common feeling, but also the central symptom of several psychiatric disorders: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anxiety disorders are common and important in general medical practice as they often manifest with physical symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain, and dizziness that can be misdiagnosed as medical conditions and lead to unnecessary investigation and treatment. Anxiety disorder, especially phobic anxiety, can also lead to inability to adhere to medical treatments, for example, because of needle phobia interfering with blood tests and/or injected drugs treatment. Both pharmacological and psychological treatments are effective. For chronic anxiety, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the drugs of choice, with benzodiazepines being reserved for short-term use. If available, cognitive behaviour therapy is similarly effective. Anxiety disorders usually respond to treatment but often recur.

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