Anxiety disorders

A group of mental illnesses, including several specific syndromes, in which symptoms of anxiety are the main feature. These disorders are common and mainly affect young adults. In generalized anxiety disorder, there is persistent tension and apprehension that has no specific focus or cause, together with physical or psychological symptoms that disrupt normal activity. Panic disorders are characterized by sudden attacks of extreme, unreasonable anxiety. Phobias are irrational fears, such as the fear of open spaces or spiders, that lead to avoidance of certain situations or objects. Counselling, psychotherapy, and group or individual cognitive–behaviour therapy are used to treat anxiety disorders. Antianxiety drugs (especially benzodiazepine drugs) may be used for shortterm treatment but are addictive.


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