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Treatment-resistant anxiety disorders

Abstract

Several epidemiological studies confirmed that Anxiety Disorders as a group are the most prevalent psychiatric conditions in the United States. The importance of these conditions is underlined by the fact that they cause significant disability, poor quality of life, alcohol and drug abuse. Anxiety disorders are treatable conditions and respond to the front-line interventions such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors and cognitive behavioral therapy. However, only about 60% of patients respond to those treatments to any significant degree. Many still have residual symptoms or stay treatment refractory. The group of anxiety patients that is resistant to the treatment has been shown to have very poor quality of life and have highest rate of suicidal attempts than any other disorders. Many biological, treatment specific and social factors are affecting treatment resistance. In this paper, we are attempting to review reasons for the treatment resistance. In addition, we would like to review current strategies that could be helpful in reducing treatment resistance and aiding people chronically suffering from these severe and disabling conditions.

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Acknowledgements

I like to thank Lauren Kerwin and Mary Grace Savella for their help with the preparation of this manuscript. This work was supported in part by Saban Family Foundation.

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Bystritsky, A. Treatment-resistant anxiety disorders. Mol Psychiatry 11, 805–814 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.mp.4001852

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