According to the American Psychiatric Association, anxiety disorders are the most common type of psychiatric disorders.
Many patients with anxiety disorders experience physical symptoms related to anxiety and subsequently visit their primary care providers. Despite the high prevalence rates of these anxiety disorders, they often are underrecognized and undertreated clinical problems.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5),
anxiety disorders include disorders that share features of excessive fear and anxiety and related behavioral disturbances. These disorders include separation anxiety disorder, selective mutism, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), panic disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, substance/medication-induced anxiety disorder, and anxiety disorder due to another medical condition. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (included in the obsessive-compulsive and related disorders), acute stress disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder (included in the trauma and stress-related disorders) are no longer considered anxiety disorders as they were in the previous version of the DSM. However, these disorders are closely related to anxiety disorders and the sequential order of these chapters in the DSM-5 reflects this close relationship.
Anxiety disorders appear to be caused by an interaction of biopsychosocial factors, including genetic vulnerability, which interact with situations, stress, or trauma to produce clinically significant syndromes. (See Pathophysiology and Etiology.)
Symptoms vary depending on the specific anxiety disorder. (See Clinical Presentation.)