Until a few years ago, anxiety disorders were not usually placed among the more serious psychiatric conditions. Today, however, we know that some are serious and disabling for many patients (Rosenberg & Rosenberg, 1994).The DSM-IV diagnostic categories have important treatment and prognostic implications.
Like all psychiatric symptoms, severe anxiety can be a manifestation of a number of general medical or substance-related conditions. This chapter assumes that the reader's diagnosis of a “functional” disorder is accurate when discussing panic, phobic, obsessive, or trauma-related syndromes. Nevertheless, we reiterate that physical causes should be thoroughly considered before embarking ...