Anxiety Disorders: Lifespan Perspectives

Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive anxiety, fear, or worry. These disorders are associated with avoidance behaviors and result in distress, functional impairment, or both. Among children, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; excessive and uncontrollable worry about the future) and social anxiety disorder (fear or extreme avoidance of potential negative evaluation) are the most prevalent disorders. Among adults and older adults, however, the most common Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), anxiety disorders include specific phobia (excessive fear, anxiety, or extreme avoidance of a specific situation, animal, or thing), GAD, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder (unexpected and recurrent anxiety-inducing panic attacks), and agoraphobia (fear or avoidance of certain situations where leaving the situation would be difficult or there would be limited ...

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