Anxiety and stress related disorders

Anxiety and stress-related disorders can be considered as an exaggerated response to stress. In contrast to psychosis, such patients are free from delusions and hallucinations, and usually retain insight. These disorders include the following range of common, related, and overlapping conditions:

• generalized anxiety states: continuous, unfocused, 'free-floating' anxiety

panic disorder: episodes of acute, severe anxiety

specific phobias: anxiety related to specific objects (e.g. spiders) or situations (e.g. agoraphobia, social phobia)

• obsessive-compulsive disorder: anxiety related to obsessional thoughts or compulsive ritual behaviours

• reactions to stress: including adjustment reactions and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Anxiety is a feature of them all. Patients with a mixture of symptoms from several categories were sometimes said to have general neurotic syndrome, although the term is not in clinical use today.

Hughes' Outline of Modern Psychiatry, Fifth Edition. David Gill. © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd ISBN 9780470033920

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