This is the 2007 version. Click here for the 2017 chapter 12 table of contents.

Anxiety Disorders

Each year about one out of eight people in the United States experiences an anxiety related disorder . DSM-IV distinguishes between eleven different types, including generalized or "free-floating" anxiety, panic attacks, phobic reactions, post-traumatic stress disorders, and the obsessive-compulsive disorder. Several of these disorders are discussed in other chapters; here we will cover panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

What is "free-floating anxiety"?

All the anxiety disorders are characterized by panicky feelings and symptoms of stress. Generalized or free-floating anxiety is a nameless, apparently groundless feeling of discomfort and alarm, as one might feel before a dreaded event. The term free-floating is used when this dread cannot be related to anything obvious in the patient's history or physical and social environment.

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