A diagnosis is via a medical professional’s evaluation, based on specific criteria.
Deciding when anxiety is severe enough to be considered a disorder can be complicated.
An individual’s ability to tolerate anxiety varies, and determining what constitutes abnormal anxiety can be difficult.
Medical professionals usually use the following specific established criteria:
- Anxiety is very distressing.
- Anxiety interferes with functioning.
- Anxiety is long-lasting or keeps coming back.
Medical professionals will:
- Look for other disorders that may be causing anxiety, such as depression or a sleep disturbance.
- Also ask whether relatives have had similar symptoms, because anxiety disorders tend to run in families.
- Also do a physical examination.
- Blood and other tests may be done to check for other medical disorders that can cause anxiety.