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Anxiety disorders can fill people's lives with overwhelming worry and fear. Examples of these disorders include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and agoraphobia. While each of these has its own distinct features, they share the common theme of excessive, irrational fear and dread. Also, the anxiety that a person feels is generally chronic, unremitting, and can grow progressively worse.
 
People with anxiety disorders are often tormented by panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, flashbacks of traumatic events, nightmares, or countless frightening physical symptoms. In some cases, they may even become housebound. Fortunately, treatments for anxiety can be effective at any age.
 
(Click Anxiety for an in-depth look at the condition, including the role that genetics can play in developing anxiety disorders and specific forms of psychotherapy that can be used to treat them. You can also click any of the links in the box to the right for more specific information.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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