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What are the different types of Anxiety Disorders?

There are a number of different types of anxiety disorders. They include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Separation anxiety disorder
  •  Social anxiety disorder
  •  Panic disorder
  •  Agoraphobia
  •  Substance/medication-induced anxiety disorder
  •  Selective mutism
  •  Specific phobia
  •  Anxiety disorder due to another medical condition
  •  Other specified anxiety disorder 
  • Unspecified anxiety disorder

How common are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders make up one of the most common groups of psychiatric disorders. According to the National Comorbidity Study: 

  • One in four people in the United States meets the diagnosis for an anxiety disorder.
  • Approximately 18 percent of people will have an anxiety disorder that lasts for 12 months.
  • Women are more likely to have an anxiety disorder than men.
  • Approximately 30 percent of women experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime, compared to 19 percent of men.
  • The prevalence of anxiety disorders decreases with higher socioeconomic status.

Are Anxiety Disorders genetic?

There is solid evidence that heredity is a predisposing factor in the development of anxiety disorders. Nearly half of all patients with panic disorder have at least one relative with the same condition. Data from studies of twins also indicate that anxiety disorders are at least partially genetically determined.

How does psychotherapy treat anxiety?

From a psychodynamic perspective, the goal of therapy is not necessarily to eliminate all anxiety a person feels but to increase anxiety tolerance and use it as a signal to investigate the underlying conflict that has created it. Anxiety appears in response to various situations during a lifespan, and though medications may improve symptoms, they may do nothing to address one’s life situation or internal responses that lead to anxiety.

Mental Health Library Sources:

Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.


Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.

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