Anxiety disorders are common, typically have an early onset, run a chronic or relapsing course, cause substantial personal distress, impair social and occupational function, reduce quality of life, and impose a substantial economic burden: they are often comorbid with major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance misuse and physical illness, and are associated with increased risks of suicidal behaviour. As such, anxiety disorders should be regarded as a significant public health problem. However the causes of anxiety disorders remain largely unknown, which hinders accurate diagnosis, the prediction of prognosis, and the development of refined treatment approaches. In clinical practice, many patients with anxiety disorders do not present or are not recognised, the standard of care they receive is often sub-optimal, and the effectiveness of pharmacological and psychological treatment interventions in real-world clinical practice can be disappointing. The current substantial unmet public health, clinical and research needs in anxiety disorders could be addressed in part by developing independent collaborative European networks.
- Anxiety disorders
- Public health