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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Anxiety Disorders: Home

This guide provides resources about anxiety disorders.

What are anxiety disorders?

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States.

"Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disturbances characterized by anxiety as a central or core symptom. Although anxiety is a commonplace experience, not everyone who experiences it has an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is associated with a wide range of physical illnesses, medication side effects, and other psychiatric disorders."

Many people experience "normal" anxiety as a result of stressful or frightening situation and are able to appropriately react and overcome their anxiety when the stressor has gone away. "In contrast, anxiety that is characteristic of anxiety disorders is disproportionately intense, and the anxious feelings interfere with a person's ability to carry out normal or desired activities. (Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health, 3rd edition)

The term "anxiety disorders" can refer to many different types of anxiety disorders, such as:

  • panic disorders and panic attacks
  • generalized anxiety disorder
  • agoraphobia
  • specific phobias
  • social anxiety disorder

DSM-V (ICD-10) Classification for Common Anxiety Disorders

  • Separation Anxiety Disorder 309.21 (F93.0)
  • Selective Mutism 313.23 (F94.0)
  • Specific Phobia 300.29 (F40.2_)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia) 300.23 (F40.00)
  • Panic Disorder 300.01 (F41.0)
  • Agoraphobia 300.22 (F40.00)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder 300.02 (F41.1)
  • Anxiety Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition 293.84 (F06.4)

Who is affected by anxiety disorders?

According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. Here are some numbers:

  • Each year, around 18.1% of the U.S. adult population is affected by an anxiety disorder
  • Women are 60% more likely than men to experience an anxiety disorder over their lifetime
  • The average age of onset is 11 years old
  • For 13-18 year olds, 25.1% have an anxiety disorder

Statistics from National Institute of Mental Health, Any Anxiety Disorder in Adults and Any Anxiety Disorder in Children.

Subject Guide

JJ Pionke's picture
JJ Pionke

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