Article

Generalized anxiety disorder: between neglect and an epidemic.

University of Sydney, Sydney Medical School-Nepean, Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
The Journal of nervous and mental disease (Impact Factor: 1.81). 08/2012; 200(8):664-7. DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318263f947
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This article reviews the main issues associated with the concept and the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and examines the proposed DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for GAD. The lack of specific features, which is the primary issue for GAD, will not be addressed in DSM-5. The hallmark of the condition will remain pathological worry, although it also characterizes other disorders. Likewise, the proposed behavioral diagnostic criteria lack specificity for GAD, and it is not clear how these will be assessed. The proposed changes will lower the diagnostic threshold for GAD in DSM-5. Although this will not necessarily lead to a better recognition of GAD and an improvement in the perception of its relevance and clinical utility, many currently subthreshold cases will qualify for this diagnosis. The likely inclusion of many such "false-positives" will result in an artificial increase in the prevalence of GAD and will have further negative consequences.

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