Anxiety Disorders

Most people experience feelings of anxiety before an important event such as a big exam, business presentation or first date. Anxiety disorders, however, are illnesses that cause people to feel frightened, distressed and uneasy for no apparent reason. Left untreated, these disorders can dramatically reduce productivity and significantly diminish an individual’s quality of life.

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses in America; more than 40 million are affected by these debilitating illnesses each year.


  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Phobia
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder


Treatments have been largely developed through research conducted by research institutions. They are extremely effective and often combine medication or specific types of psychotherapy.

More medications are available than ever before to effectively treat anxiety disorders. These include antidepressants or benzodiazepines. If one medication is not effective, others can be tried.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective way to treat anxiety disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches patients to understand their thinking patterns so they can react differently to the situations that cause them anxiety.

The content of this fact sheet was adapted from material published by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Mayo Clinic


National Institute of Mental Health Anxiety Disorder


Anxiety and Depression Association of America
8701 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910

American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002