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Anxiety Disorders - Brown University - icd 10 anxiety disorders

Anxiety Disorders


|Mental status exam |Anxiety Disorders |
|General |Various physical manifestations: |
| |restless-appearing, psychomotor |
| |agitation, shortness of breath, |
| |hyperventilation, stomach upset, chest |
| |pain, diaphoresis. |
| | |
| |May be ill kempt, or meticulously |
| |groomed (OCD). |
| | |
| |May display odd, ritualistic behaviors. |
|Emotion|Mood |Anxious, fearful |
|al | | |
| |Affect |Frightened-appearing, can be very |
| | |intense |
|Thought|Process |Can involve obsessive, perseverative |
| | |thoughts |
| |Content |Delusions, hallucinations |

Fear can be a normal, appropriate reaction to a known source of danger. “Anxiety” can be defined as a “warning signal,” functioning to make us aware of present or potential danger.

With an anxiety disorder, an individual is frightened, but the source of the danger is not known, not recognized, or inadequate to account for the symptoms. That is to say, the anxiety response is inappropriate to the situation.

The physiologic manifestations of anxiety are similar to the manifestations fear. They include symptoms such as shakiness and sweating, palpitations, tingling in the extremities, numbness around the mouth, dizziness and syncope, mydriasis, and GI or urinary disturbances.

By definition, the anxiety disorders (see Diagnosis section of this chapter for complete list) are primarily disorders of emotion.
However, like other mental disorders, anxiety can affect all areas of the mental status exam. (see Table to right).


Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent of psychiatric disorders. Community samples have shown surprisingly high lifetime prevalences. The ECA study demonstrated the following lifetime prevalences:

Anxiety Disorders Overall: 15%

• Generalized anxiety disorder: 8.5%
• Phobias: 12.5%
• Panic disorder: 1.6%

OCD: 2.5%

Similar rates were found by the National Comorbidity Survey, which demonstrated the following lifetime prevalences:
• Any anxiety disorder: 25%
• Generalized anxiety disorder: 5%
• Agoraphobia without panic: 5%
• Social phobia: 13%
• Panic disorder: 3.5%

Additionally, one-month prevalence rates were determined by the ECA study as follows:
• All anxiety disorders: 7.3%, distributed fairly equally across age groups though somewhat lower in 65+
• Phobias: 6%, distributed fairly equally across age groups, but women tended to have higher in young adulthood
• Panic: 0.5% overall, distributed fairly equally across age groups, but women tended to have higher in young adulthood
• OCD: 1.3% overall, tended to have higher in late adolescence and young adulthood

Clinical samples have shown anxiety disorders to be a very common reason for presentation to primary care doctors, ER, etc. In terms of gender effects, anxiety disorders seem more common in women. They may decrease with age, and can present differently at different ages. In children, an anxiety disorder can manifest as separation anxiety (“school phobia”). Elderly patients may tend towards somatic presentations (“stomach problems,” headaches, sleep problems).


Genetic influences are a factor. There is a high incidence of anxiety disorders passed to subsequent generations, as evidenced by family studies. In these studies, generally all the disorders are more common in first-degree relatives of affected individuals than the general public. Panic disorder has a 4-7X greater incidence in first-degree relatives. Specific phobias may aggregate by type within families. In addition, twin studies show strong genetic contribution to Panic Disorder. For example, in OCD concordance is higher for monozygotic than dizygotic twins.

The key neurotransmitters seem to be catecholamines (“fight or flight reaction”) and serotonin modulation. In addition, the GABA receptor, the primary inhibitory transmitter in the brain, plays an important role in the modulation of arousal and anxiety. Specific structures important in the etiology of anxiety disorders include the Reticular Activation System (RAS) and the so-called “suffocation response.” The locus coeruleus (site of noradrenergic neurons), raphe nucleus (site of serotonergic neurons), caudate nucleus (particularly in OCD), temporal cortex, and frontal cortex are brain areas likely to be involved in anxiety disorders.

Cortical modulation plays an important role; key to this is the role of learning (classical and operant conditioning), as well as the role of stress, conflict and neuroses (psychoanalytic theory).

Diagnostic tests have been used to explore the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders. For example, lactic acid infusion and carbon dioxide inhalation bring out panic disorder. This, along with some tentative data, gives some credence to the suggestion that panic disorder is a “suffocation response” gone awry.


The Syndromes

Syndromes are defined not as disorders, but rather “building blocks for disorders” (like the “episodes” in mood disorders). The Syndromes include panic attacks and agoraphobia.

| |
|Panic attacks must include 4 or more of the following symptoms: |
| |
|Palpitations, pounding heart, or increased heart rate |
|Sweating |
|Trembling or shaking |
|Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering |
|Feeling of choking |
|Chest pain |
|Nausea |
|Dizziness |
|Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization |
|Feeling of losing control/going crazy |
|Fear of dying |
|Paresthesias |
|Chills |
| |
|A panic attack starts abruptly and peaks in about 10 minutes. |
| |
|Anxiety about being a place or situation from which |
|either: |
|escape is difficult or embarrassing, or |
|if a panic attack occurred, help might not be |
|available |
| |
|The situation: |
|Is avoided (restricting travel), or |
|Is endured, but with marked distress or anxiety about |
|having a panic attack, or |
|Requires a companion |
| |
|Other mental disorders don’t explain the symptoms |
|better. |

The Disorders

The anxiety disorders are:
• Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia
• Panic Disorder without Agoraphobia
• Agoraphobia without a History of Panic Disorder
• Specific Phobia
• Social Phobia
• Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
• Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
• Acute Stress Disorder
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder
• Anxiety Disorder due to a General Medical Condition
• Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder
• Anxiety Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)
| |
|Recurrent unexpected panic attacks, and |
| |
|At least 1 attack has been followed by 1 month+ of: |
|Concern about having additional attacks |
|Worry about the implications or consequences of the attack |
|Significant change in behavior relating to the attack |
| |
|Specify presence or absence of agoraphobia |
| |
|Panic attacks are not caused by substance or general medical condition. |
| |
|Panic attacks are not part of another Anxiety or Mental Disorder. |
| |
|The presence of agoraphobia. |
| |
|No history of Panic Disorder. (The focus of the fear is on the occurrence of incapacitating or extremely embarrassing panic-like symptoms or |
|limited-symptom attacks rather than full Panic Attacks.) |
| |
|The disturbance is not caused by a general medical condition or by substances. |
| |
|If an associated general medical condition exists, the symptoms are in excess of that expected for the medical condition. |
| |
|Marked and persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations. The fear is of possible humiliation or embarrassment. |
| |
|The phobic stimulus almost always causes anxiety. |
| |
|The fear is recognized as excessive or unreasonable. |
| |
|The feared situation is avoided or endured with intense distress or anxiety. |
| |
|The Global Criteria |

| |
|Animal type |
|Natural environment type (e.g. heights, storms, water, |
|etc.) |
|Blood-Injection-Injury type |
|Situational type (e.g. public transportation, tunnels, |
|elevators, flying, driving, enclosed spaces, etc.) |
|Other type (e.g. choking, vomiting, contracting an |
|illness, children’s fears of loud sounds or costumed |
|characters, etc.) |
| |
|Marked persistent fear that is excessive or unreasonable, cued by the presence or anticipation of a|
|specific object or situation. |
| |
|The phobic stimulus almost invariably provokes an immediate anxiety response. |
| |
|The fear is recognized as excessive or unreasonable (not needed in children). |
| |
|The phobic stimulus is avoided or endured with intense anxiety or distress. |
| |
|Persons under age 18 must have the symptoms for 6 months+. |
| |
|The Global Criteria. |

| |
|Either obsessions or compulsions: |
| |
|Obsessions: Recurrent, persistent thoughts or impulses, experiences (sometimes) as intrusive and inappropriate, and cause distress. |
| |
|The thoughts aren’t realistic worries about real problems. |
|Person tries to ignore or suppress the obsessions. |
|The obsessive thoughts are recognized as such. |
| |
|Compulsions: Repetitive behaviors or mental acts that are done in response to an obsession. |
| |
|The behaviors are meant to reduce distress, or prevent a feared event, but are not realistic. |
| |
|At some point, the person had good insight into the unrealistic nature of these. |
| |
|The Global Criteria. |

| |
|The person experienced/witnessed/was confronted by an unusually traumatic event, which: |
|Involved actual or threatened death/serious injury to the person or other, and |
|Caused intense fear, horror or helplessness |
| |
|The event is reexperienced through (1 or more of following): |
|Intrusive, recurrent recollections |
|Recurrent nightmares |
|Flashbacks |
|Intense distress in reaction to internal or external cues symbolizing/resembling the event |
|Physiological reactivity in response to these cues |
| |
|Avoidance of the stimuli and numbing of general responsiveness shown by (3+): |
|Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations about the trauma |
|Efforts to avoid activities, people or places associated with the event |
|Inability to recall important aspects of the event |
|Loss of interest/participation in significant activities |
|Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others |
|Restricted range of affect |
|Sense of foreshortened future |
| |
|Persistent symptoms of hyperarousal: |
|Insomnia |
|Irritability |
|Difficulty concentrating |
|Hypervigilance |
|Exaggerated startle response |
| |
|The above symptoms have lasted longer than one month. |
|The Global Criteria. |

| |
|Excessive anxiety and worry occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, in regard to work, school or other activities. |
| |
|It is difficult to control these worries. |
| |
|The anxiety and worry are associated with 3+ of the following: |
|Restlessness, or feeling keyed up |
|Easy fatigue |
|Difficulty concentrating |
|Irritability |
|Muscle tension |
|Insomnia or restless, unrefreshing sleep |
| |
|Aspects of another Axis I disorder do not provide the focus of the anxiety and worry. |
| |
|The Global Criteria. |

Other Anxiety Disorders:

Acute Stress Disorder is like PTSD, but less than 1 month.

Anxiety Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition and Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder can demonstrate as generalized anxiety, panic attacks, OCD symptoms, or phobic symptoms in the case of substances.

Anxiety Disorder NOS is a “wastebasket diagnosis” for anxiety symptoms not meeting the criteria for any specific disorder.

Differential Diagnosis

Important medical disorders that should be considered in the differential for anxiety disorders include endocrine disorders, cardiopulmonary disorders, and neurologic disorders. Substance-induced disorders mistaken for anxiety disorders include withdrawal syndromes (alcohol or tranquilizers), and intoxication/therapeutic syndromes (stimulants or others). Some specific organic causes of symptoms of anxiety include excessive caffeine intake, hyperthyroidism, vitamin B12 deficiency, hypo- or hyperglycemia, cardiac arrhythmias, anemia, pulmonary disease, and pheochromocytoma (an adrenal medullary tumor).

Other psychiatric syndromes in the differential include mood disorders (anxiety can be misdiagnosed as, or comorbid with depression), psychotic disorders, sleep disorders, somatoform disorders, and eating disorders.

Adjustment disorder often must be distinguished from post-traumatic stress disorder. Adjustment disorder is characterized by emotional symptoms (e.g. anxiety, depression, conduct problems) that cause social, school, or work impairment occurring within 3 months and lasting less than 6 months after a serious (but usually not life-threatening) life event (e.g. divorce, bankruptcy, changing residence). Generally, adjustments disorders are understandable, even seemingly “normal” reactions to unusual circumstances. PTSD is an abnormal reaction to an abnormal trauma, and though the reaction may be understandable, it is grossly maladaptive.

Comorbid Disorders

Commonly, mood disorders like depression can present comorbidly with anxiety, bringing to question genetic linkage or different forms of the same disorder. Some medical disorders are commonly comorbid with anxiety disorders: for example, mitral valve prolapse and Panic Disorder. .


Most anxiety disorders tend to be chronic disorders. Panic disorder tends to present in late adolescence to early adulthood. It has perhaps a bimodal distribution (late adolescence and mid-30’s). It can be chronic, but waxing and waning. At 6-10 years follow-up, 1/3 patients appear to be well, about 1/2 have improved but are still symptomatic, and 1/5 – 1/3 feel the same or worse. There is a high risk of relapse after (somatic) treatment. Agoraphobia may or may not improve if panic improves; it can become a “learned behavior.”

Specific Phobia tends to begin in childhood. The situation type has a second peak in mid-20’s (bimodal). It may spontaneously remit, but if it persists until adulthood, it becomes very chronic (perhaps 80% of those persisting to adulthood will be chronic). For Social Phobia, the onset is in the mid-teens. Patients may exhibit a premorbid history of shyness. Usually, social phobia is chronic, but it can fluctuate in severity. The onset of OCD is in adolescence or early adulthood. It presents earlier in males, who may begin in childhood. The course is a chronic waxing and waning one. 15% have deterioration, and 5% have episodes with interepisode recovery. PTSD can present for the first time at any age. Half of patients with PTSD recover in 3 months; the rest may persist for long duration. The most important predictor is the severity of trauma. Other factors which may mitigate severity/duration include social support, family history, premorbid personality and psychological health. Generalized Anxiety Disorder has an onset from childhood to early adulthood. It is, by definition, very chronic.


Somatic Treatment For Anxiety Disorders: The Psychopharmacology Of Anxiety

Categories Of Anxiolytic Drugs

• Antidepressants (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)
• Benzodiazepines
• 5-HT1A agonists
• Beta antagonists
• Barbiturates (historical in this context; have been supplanted by other drugs)

The most common medications used for anxiety are the antidepressants and/or sedative hypnotics.

Antidepressants have gradually replaced sedative hypnotics for the first line of treatment of many anxiety disorders. Several studies show antidepressants to be as effective as benzodiazepines for a variety of anxiety disorders (e.g., fluoxetine [Prozac] compared favorably against alprazolam [Xanax] for panic disorder). Their mechanism of action in treating anxiety is presumed to be similar to that for their antidepressant effect. This presumption is reasonable, as monoamines exert a modulatory influence on most other neurotransmitters in the brain, including GABA. However, antidepressants are used preventively, on an every day basis. They are not effective in “as needed” dosing, and thus are not appropriate for short-term anxiety, or for quick relief of acute anxiety.

For more on antidepressants, see their description under Mood Disorders.

Sedative Hypnotics: Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines have multiple properties, which lend the drugs to multiple clinical applications:

Property Of Benzodiazepines ( Clinical Application

• Anticonvulsant ( treatment of epilepsy
• Muscle relaxant ( treatment of spasticity (multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy)
• Sedating ( sleep induction
• Anxiolytic ( treatment of anxiety
(This last property and application are what we are focusing on in this chapter.)

The mechanism of action for benzodiazepines is potentiation of GABA action at GABA-A receptors in the CNS. Benzodiazepines increase the affinity of GABA for its receptor, and can potentiate the increase in chloride permeability (and hyperpolarization) of the target neurons normally produced by GABA.

There are three classes of benzodiazepines: 2-keto, 3-hydroxy, and triazolo. 2-keto drugs include chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, prazepam, clorazepate, halazepam, clonazepam, and flurazepam. Many of these are pro-drugs; they are oxidized in the liver (usually to active metabolites). They therefore tend to have long half-lives and are more susceptible to drug interactions and age effects. The 3-hydroxy drugs include oxazepam, lorazepam, and temezepam. These are conjugated in the liver (to inactive substances); thus, they have shorter half-lives, and are less affected by age and other drugs. The triazolo class includes alprazolam, triazolam and adinazolam. These are oxidized, but with more limited active metabolites. Thus, they are somewhat shorter-acting than the 2-keto drugs. The mechanism of action relates to specific receptors on GABA receptors.

Indications for these medications include panic, generalized anxiety, specific and social phobias, mixed anxiety syndromes, insomnia, muscle tension, seizures, anesthesia, and alcohol withdrawal.

Side effects and risks include abuse potential, tolerance, withdrawal, dependence, and addiction. There is also an overdose potential, with rare deaths as single agents. Other side effects are of the sedative variety – namely, sedation, dizziness, weakness, ataxia, decreased motoric performance, and falls in the elderly. In addition, anterograde amnesia, nausea, hypotension (slight), and possibly dyscontrol have been shown in patients taking these drugs.

Although benzodiazepines can impair motor coordination, they don’t have the acute toxic effects (respiratory depression) of barbiturates. However, benzodiazepines can produce respiratory depression if combined with other sedatives, such as alcohol. These acute effects can be antagonized by flumazenil, a competitive GABA antagonist.

Of most concern are the side effects of tolerance and withdrawal, and the related (but not identical) fear of addiction in patients who take benzodiazepines regularly. Though perhaps overstated by some, a risk does exist. The best predictor of a likelihood of developing a problem like addiction with these drugs is a previous history of addiction to other substances.

A related concern is the possibility of rebound anxiety once these drugs are stopped, which can be as serious as the original anxiety the drugs were meant to treat.

Because of these worries, benzodiazepines are often reserved either for short-term treatment of time-limited anxiety (e.g. worried preceding an upcoming surgery) or for intermittent anxiety (e.g. if a person gets infrequent panic attacks, say, less than once a month). In both of these cases, they may be preferable to antidepressants, in that antidepressants take weeks to work, and cannot be used intermittently (and it seems inappropriate to give daily antidepressants for an event that only happens once in a while).

5-HT1A Agonists
Buspirone is a novel agent, in the class of drugs called azaspirones. Buspirone's mechanism of action is very complex and, so far, it is not totally elucidated. Several different neuropharmacologic processes can be involved. Buspirone has an affinity for 5-HT1A -receptors, moderate affinity for DA2-receptors, and weak affinity for 5-HT2-receptors but no affinity for the benzodiazepine receptor complex (on the GABA receptor) in vitro. It is not useful for panic or other acute anxiety syndromes, but it may be useful for generalized anxiety disorder. It works like an antidepressant; in other words, it requires regular dosing and takes several weeks to work. There is little abuse potential and few side effects. Buspirone lacks the benzodiazepines’ sedative, muscle relaxant, or anticonvulsant actions, and has no ability to affect benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms. It is also surprisingly free of significant drug-drug interactions. However, it is not widely used; this means either that the drug isn’t as effective in clinical situation than in “ideal” drug marketing studies, or that the patients who are most likely to benefit may not be the complicated anxiety disorders seen by psychiatrists. Thus, there is a bias against the drug.

Other novel treatments include β antagonists (“beta blockers”) for social phobias and neurosurgery for OCD.

β antagonists (e.g. propranolol) are used especially for treatment of physical symptoms such as tremor and tachycardia. (Note: epinephrine can cause skeletal muscle twitch via β2 agonist effects; this would be blocked by propranolol).

For more on neurosurgery, see the chapter on OCD.

Psychosocial/Behavioral Treatments For Anxiety Disorders:

Psychotherapies have been greatly successful for many of the anxiety disorders, sometimes more so than somatic treatments. An example of a well-studied effective treatment for anxiety is cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT). CBT is based on learning theory; the idea is that people learn to develop automatic responses of fear or dread in relation to a stimulus. What is learned can be unlearned, and much of CBT is spent teaching the patient to tolerate the triggers of anxiety. In the case of phobias, the triggers are clear; in the case of panic disorder, the trigger is, in a sense, the anxiety itself, and the patient learns to tolerate their anxiety. This treatment may be the only thing that helps agoraphobia if it is associated with the panic (which, otherwise, often persists long after medications have prevented the panic).

Other examples of psychotherapy for anxiety include desensitization techniques for phobias. Often these are much more effective than any medication, and can truly cure the disorder, whereas medication will only provide symptomatic relief.

Other therapies may be more general, e.g. group support is also offered for PTSD patients. However, again this can be very effective in a complicated disease that often doesn’t respond well to medication alone.

|Some drugs commonly used for anxiety, sedation or for sleep |
| Name |Type |

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive obsessions and repetitive compulsions, which cause distress or are a significant burden to the patient. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate, causing marked anxiety. Compulsions, on the other hand, are repetitive behaviors or mental acts carried out in response to an obsession and are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety. At some point during the course of the disorder, a patient has recognized that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. These characteristic symptoms of OCD often interfere with a person’s normal routine, occupation, or social activities and relationships.

Typical obsessions:
• Fear of getting dirty or contaminated by people or the environment
• Fear of infection, including AIDS or other illness
• Disgust with bodily waste or secretions
• Recurring thoughts of harming oneself or others
• Fear that a disaster will occur
• Fear of committing a crime
• Recurring distressing sexual thoughts or images
• Fear of thinking sinful or blasphemous thoughts
• Fear of blurting out obscenities or insults
• Extreme concern with order, symmetry or exactness
• Recurrent intrusive thoughts of certain sounds, images, words, or numbers
• Intense need to know or remember
• Fear of losing/discarding something important
Typical compulsions:
• Excessive or ritualized hand washing
• Prolonged or ritualized showering, brushing teeth, or toilet routine
• Repeated dressing and undressing
• Repeated cleaning of household objects
• Intense need to order or arrange things in a particular way
• Repeatedly checking locks, switches, faucets, appliances
• Checking to see no one has been harmed by the patient’s actions
• Need to tell, ask, confess
• Repeating certain actions (e.g. going through doors)
• Checking that the patient did not make a mistake
• Constant seeking of approval or reassurance
• Touching certain objects in a particular way
• Repeated counting to a certain number or a multiple of that number
• Hoarding useless objects


OCD has a lifetime prevalence of 2-3% in the United States. There is a bimodal pattern of onset of OCD, occurring in childhood and late adolescence/early adulthood. Two-thirds of cases have their onset earlier than age 25, and only 15% occur after age 35. About one-third of cases have onset in childhood or early adolescence. Males tend to have earlier onset.


Familial/Genetic Theories: Twin studies have shown that concordance rates for monozygotic twins are higher than that of dizygotic twins. OCD prevalence is higher if a 1st degree relative has OCD or Tourette’s syndrome. There is also evidence that in some families with Tourette’s, rates of both OCD and Tourette’s are increased in biological relatives, which suggests that in these families, OCD and Tourette’s may be alternative phenotypic expressions of the same underlying genetic defect.

Behavioral Theories: Two-stage classical instrumental conditioning model of OCD: Obsessions result from pairing mental stimuli with anxiety-provoking thoughts. Compulsions are neutral behaviors that have been associated with anxiety reduction and therefore reinforced.

Neurobiological Theories: Converging evidence from imaging, pharmacological and behavioral studies implicates hyperactivity in frontal-subcortical thalamic circuits in the pathogenesis of OCD. This theory holds that hyperactivity in these circuits leads to excess activity in frontal-subcortical systems giving rise to the behavioral disturbance in OCD.

Prefrontal cortex (orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate) ( basal ganglia ( globus pallidus ( thalamus ( prefrontal cortex

A series of functional imaging studies (PET, SPECT, fMRI) have demonstrated increased perfusion and metabolism in the orbital frontal cortex, anterior cingulate gyrus, and head of the caudate nucleus in patients with active OCD. Some studies have suggested that the hypermetabolism may have a right-sided predominance. The hypermetabolism in these circuits can be reversed following successful medication, behavioral or surgical treatment of the OC symptoms.

Cognitive Functions Of Frontal-Subcortical Structures Involved In The Development Of A “Worry Circuit” In Ocd:

• Prefrontal cortex: response inhibition, planning, error detection and mood regulation
• Paralimbic cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and amygdala: integrating external stimuli with emotional states and modulation of arousal and intense emotion
• Basal ganglia: automatic filtering of stimuli and mediation of stereotyped behaviors
• Thalamus: gating of transmission of stimuli and refined information back to the cortex

Several finding implicate the serotonergic system in modulation of OCD symptoms:
• Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRIs) are uniquely effective in OCD.
• Serotonin partial agonists (mCPP) can acutely worsen OCD.
• Serotonin antagonists (metergoline, ritanserin) can provoke OCD symptoms in SRI responders.
• There is a tentative association between some variants in genes coding for serotonin system components and OCD.


| |
|Either obsessions or compulsions: |
| |
|Obsessions: Recurrent, persistent thoughts or impulses, experiences (sometimes) as intrusive and inappropriate, and cause |
|distress. |
| |
|The thoughts aren’t realistic worries about real problems. |
|Person tries to ignore or suppress the obsessions. |
|The obsessive thoughts are recognized as such. |
| |
|Compulsions: Repetitive behaviors or mental acts that are done in response to an obsession. |
| |
|The behaviors are meant to reduce distress, or prevent a feared event, but are not realistic. |

Differential Diagnosis And Comorbidity

OCD is often associated with other disorders such as depression (>50%), dysthymia, anxiety disorders such as social phobia and panic disorder, hypochondriasis, and eating disorders. Obsessive-compulsive symptoms are often seen in schizophrenia as well. There is a great deal of overlap with other repetitive behaviors such as Tourette’s Syndrome (

What diseases cause anxiety? There are several types of anxiety disorders, including: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Panic disorder. Phobias. Separation anxiety.