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9. How common are anxiety disorders?

The statistics of anxiety disorder cases are difficult to determine with precision, and different sources cite different percentages.

However, in multiple transcultural, international studies, it appears that at any given point in time anywhere from 2 to 17% of the population may have one or more diagnosable anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, simple phobia, or social phobia.

Over a lifetime, that can translate into a 10 to 25% prevalence of diagnosable anxiety disorders before adding to that list those suffering from substance abuse disorders, apparent medical problems largely attributable to anxiety, or chronic anxiety that has become a core feature of a personality. As we examine the many faces of anxiety in general and focus on some of these syndromes in particular.


Agoraphobia - a fear of open spaces or places from which escape might be difficult or help unavailable.



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