What is it?

Anxiety disorders describe a group of psychiatric conditions characterized by intense feelings of fear and anxiety. Including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder – a constant unfocused worry and a sense of helplessness
- Panic disorder – recurring panic attacks with continual worrying and thinking about them.
- Specific phobias – such as fear of needles, spiders, flights, etc.
- Other disorders such as social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and more.
These disorders differ mainly in the cause of the symptoms. Up to 25% of the population are estimated to suffer from anxiety disorders. There is no single cause for anxiety disorders, and both genetic and environmental factors are involved.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Anxiety

Signs & symptoms

Patients may experience different and unique perceptions, and signs and symptoms differ between the various disorders. Symptoms may include:
- Fatigue
- Restlessness
- Irritability or distress
- Sleep disturbance
- Shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat when exposed to different triggers
- Panic attacks: short duration "attacks" of intense fear, discomfort, tremor, and nausea that usually last less than 10 minutes. Panic attacks are the hallmark of panic disorder but may occur regardless.


Diagnosis is made via a psychiatric assessment, conducted by a psychiatrist – a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. This assessment includes questioning, physical exams, cognitive exams, and other tests that might exclude other diseases or conditions.


Treatment for anxiety disorders differ based on the specific disorder and severity of the symptoms and includes psychotherapy and medication. Different methods of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy and gradual exposure to the anxiety cause. Medical treatment includes antidepressant medications and sedative medications.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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Frequently asked questions
How does anxiety affect physical health?
Can anxiety be cured or is it a lifelong condition?
What is the difference between an anxiety attack and a panic attack?

☝ The content of this answer is based solely on historical posts and comments generated by users on Alike. This tool is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and you should always consult with your physicians before making any changes to your medical care or treatment plan.

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