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Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday tasks or events, or may be specific to certain objects or rituals. Simple phobias involve excessive anxiety evoked by specific objects (e.g., marked fear of snakes). As its name implies, social phobias are fears of interacting with others, particularly in large groups. In obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the individual experiences an obsession – an intrusive and recurrent thought, idea, sensation or feeling – coupled with a compulsion – a behavior that is recurrent and ritualized, such as checking, avoiding, or counting.1 In addition to being helped by pharmacotherapies, anxiety disorders are often addressed by exposure (to the object or event obsessed over) and response prevention –not permitting the compulsive behavior, to help the individual learn that it is not needed.1


  1. Sadock BJ, Sadock VA. Kaplan & Sadock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2007.

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