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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Unspecified Anxiety Disorder

It is the experience of many patients with anxiety disorders that they have been told that they suffer from anxiety, without the clinician having offered any specific information on their diagnosis. This is particularly the case in emergency room settings, in which the patient may have applied during the course of the first panic attack. The fact that the clinician may have chosen to name the difficulty of the patient as an anxiety problem, without stating an accurate diagnosis is in accordance with clinical practice. In many instances, this is explained by the fact that the primary goal of the intervention was to address a crisis situation and the clinician did not have enough information to safely decide the precise anxiety diagnosis the patient is suffering from (e.g. hospital emergency rooms).

These patients usually understand and accept that they have a difficulty with anxiety but do not necessarily appreciate that they have a clinical problem that requires expert treatment.  In the experience of many patients, anxiety symptoms are present for long periods of time, even years and decades, without the patients ever having had the chance to know what exactly it is they suffer from.

An unspecified anxiety disorder signifies the particular circumstances in which the description was offered to the patient and it is in effect an intermediary step towards a complete diagnostic evaluation. A complete diagnostic evaluation is the sine qua non of a complete and lasting cure of pathological anxiety.

Important notice: If you or the person you care about experience anxiety symptoms and you are uncertain of what the diagnosis is, you are encouraged to seek professional help for properly and safely addressing these concerns.

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