Anxiety Disorders Questions & Answers

Updated: Mar 27, 2019
  • Author: Nita V Bhatt, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is the most common type of psychiatric disorder?

According to the DSM-5, which diagnoses are classified as anxiety disorders?

What causes anxiety disorders?

Which brain regions are associated with anxiety disorders?

What are the major central nervous system (CNS) mediators of anxiety disorder symptoms?

What is the role of serotonin type 1A receptor binding in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders?

Which etiological factors should be considered in the diagnosis of anxiety disorders?

Do genetic factors increase the risk for developing multiple anxiety disorders?

Which theories have been advanced to explain the etiology of anxiety?

What are the psychodynamic and cognitive theories of anxiety?

What is the etiology of panic disorder?

What factors may trigger panic (attack)?

How are symptoms of panic disorder elicited in research settings?

What is the etiology of social anxiety disorder (social phobia)?

What are the differences in how a psychoanalyst and behaviorist conceptualize social anxiety (social phobia)?

Which factors play a role in the development of specific phobia?

What is the etiology of agoraphobia?

What is the prevalence of panic disorder in the US?

What is the prevalence of anxiety disorders in the US?

What is the prevalence of social anxiety disorder (social phobia) in the US?

What is the prevalence of social anxiety disorder (social phobia) in the US?

What is the global prevalence of specific anxiety disorders?

Do anxiety disorders have a racial predilection?

Does the prevalence of anxiety disorders differ between males and females?

What is the age distribution of anxiety disorders?

What is the age distribution of panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (social phobia) and agoraphobia?

What is the age distribution for specific phobia?

Which comorbidities are common with anxiety disorders?

Does severe anxiety disorder and panic disorder increase the risk for suicidal behavior?

What is the impact of comorbid phobias on the prognosis of anxiety disorders?

Is panic disorder always present in agoraphobia?

What are online resources for anxiety disorder education for patients?

What information should be given to family members of patients with anxiety disorders?

Presentation

What should be the focus of the medical history in suspected anxiety disorder?

What are the DSM-5 criteria for diagnosis of panic disorder?

What symptoms are present during a panic attack?

Which behavioral changes may result from the fear of a recurrent panic attack?

Which factors should be assessed in suspected panic disorder?

Which other psychiatric disorders should be included in the differential diagnosis of panic disorder?

How is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) diagnosed?

What are the symptoms of social anxiety disorder (social phobia)?

Which behaviors or reactions suggest social anxiety disorder (social phobia)?

Which behaviors or reactions suggest agoraphobia?

Which behaviors or reactions suggest specific phobias?

When is a mental status exam (MSE) indicated in suspected anxiety disorder?

What are the main elements of a mental status exam (MSE) for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?

Which standard mental status exams (MSEs) are used in the diagnosis of panic disorder?

Which mental status exam (MSE) findings suggest panic disorder?

Which mental status exam (MSE) findings suggest a specific phobia disorder?

What is the role of physical exam and basic lab studies in the workup of an anxiety disorder?

Which physical findings suggest panic disorder?

How long do panic attacks generally last?

What are common physical signs of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in adults and children?

DDX

What tests should be performed prior to administering medication to treat an anxiety disorder?

Which disorders should be included in the differential diagnoses of anxiety disorders?

What are the differential diagnoses for Anxiety Disorders?

Workup

What is the role of lab studies when suspicion of an anxiety disorder is high?

Which factors increase suspicion for a medical cause of anxiety?

Which studies are indicated to help differentiate central nervous system (CNS) or seizure disorder from anxiety disorder?

If headaches are a prominent symptom, which tests should be performed to differentiate seizures or brain tumor from anxiety disorder?

What functional MRI and PET scanning results suggest obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Which tests are performed to differentiate cardiac disorders from anxiety disorders?

Which tests are performed to differentiate infection caused anxiety from anxiety disorders?

What is the role of arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis in the diagnosis of anxiety disorders?

What is the role of electrolyte analysis in the diagnosis of anxiety disorders?

What is the role of chest radiography in the diagnosis of anxiety disorders?

Which tests are performed to differentiate hyperthyroidism from an anxiety disorder?

Treatment

What are the treatment options for anxiety disorders?

What is the role of psychotherapy (talk therapy) in the treatment of anxiety disorders?

Which factors are considered prior to treatment selection for anxiety disorders?

When is treatment in the emergency department (ED) indicated for anxiety disorders?

How are acute, severe, and chronic anxiety managed differently in the emergency department (ED)?

What are effective treatment approaches for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?

When is hospitalization indicated for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?

What are the APA practice guidelines for the treatment of panic disorder?

How should active panic attacks be treated?

Which medications are used to treat anxiety and panic disorders?

What is the role of fluoxetine (Prozac) in the treatment of anxiety disorders?

What is the role of paroxetine (Paxil) in the treatment of anxiety disorders?

What is the role of citalopram (Celexa) in the treatment of anxiety disorders?

What is the role of escitalopram (Lexapro) in the treatment of anxiety disorders?

What is the role of sertraline (Zoloft) in the treatment of anxiety disorders?

What is the role of mirtazapine (Remeron) in the treatment of anxiety disorders?

What medications are usually prescribed to help improve sleep in patients with anxiety disorders?

Do antidepressant drugs exacerbate jitteriness/anxiety syndrome?

What is the role of benzodiazepines in the treatment of anxiety disorders?

What factors should be considered when prescribing benzodiazepines for anxiety disorder?

Which psychotherapies are available for anxiety disorders?

What is the role of cognitive therapy (CT) in the treatment of anxiety disorders?

What is the role of behavioral therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders?

What are the APA guidelines for monitoring changes in key symptoms during the treatment of anxiety disorders?

What are the treatment approaches for social anxiety disorder (social phobia?

Which medications are used in the treatment of social anxiety disorder (social phobia)?

What are the treatment options for social anxiety disorder (social phobia) after a failure to respond to treatment with SSRIs?

What are the treatment approaches for specific phobia?

Which medications are used to treat agoraphobia?

Are diet restrictions useful in the management of anxiety disorders?

When are specialist consultations indicated in the management of anxiety disorders?

Medications

Which agents are considered the drugs of choice in the treatment of anxiety disorders?

Which medications in the drug class Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are used in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders?

Which medications in the drug class Serotonin And Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors are used in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders?

Which medications in the drug class Atypical Antidepressants are used in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders?

Which medications in the drug class Tricyclic Antidepressants are used in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders?

Which medications in the drug class Benzodiazepines are used in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders?

Which medications in the drug class Antianxiety Agents are used in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders?

Which medications in the drug class Anticonvulsant are used in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders?

Which medications in the drug class Antihypertensive Agent are used in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders?

Which medications in the drug class Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) are used in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders?

Which medications in the drug class Antipsychotic Agent are used in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders?