Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Common condition defined as chronic anxious excessive worry for at least 6 months that causes distress or impairment.
- At least 3 key symptoms out of a possible 6 are required to make a diagnosis: restlessness or nervousness, easy fatigability, poor concentration, irritability, muscle tension, or sleep disturbance.
- It is in part a diagnosis of exclusion: medical conditions, medications or substances, and other mental disorders should be ruled out as a primary cause.
Physical examination and laboratory studies are generally normal if no coexisting medical problems or substance abuse issues exist.
- Treatment is with either pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, or a combination.
Panic Disorder - Anxiety Attack
- Characterized by recurring cued or uncued panic attacks, worry about future attacks over a 1-month period, and changes in behavior as a consequence of the attacks.
- Higher risk among first-degree relatives; onset of attacks triggered by stress; often comorbid with other anxiety, mood, and substance-use disorders.
- Assessment is made through ruling out organic causes; self-report; clinical interview; and behavioral observation.
- Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and cognitive behavioral psychotherapy are first-line treatments
- Long-term management includes relapse prevention after treatment discontinuation.
- Characterized by an excessive fear of social and performance situations where the individual is afraid of being embarrassed or negatively evaluated by others.
- One of the most common and impairing mental disorders with a high risk for comorbid anxiety, depressive, and substance-use/abuse-related disorders.
Assessment is based on self-reporting, clinical interview, and behavioral observation.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and cognitive behavioral therapy are considered the first-line treatments.
- Long-term clinical management and monitoring are typically required, as patients are prone to relapse following discontinuation of acute treatment.