Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorders

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.

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