Part Four of Anxiety Disorders

Part Four of Anxiety Disorders describes Anxiety Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition, Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder, Other Specified Anxiety Disorder, and Unspecified Anxiety Disorder.  Click HERE to review the symptoms of anxiety and click HERE to read the criteria for a panic attack.

Anxiety Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition

Individuals are diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition when their panic attacks and/or anxiety is caused by a medical illness.  Diagnosis with Anxiety Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition means that the disturbance supersedes the symptoms of the medical condition.

Diagnosis also requires that “there is evidence from the history, physical examination, or laboratory findings that the disturbance is the direct pathophysiological consequence of another medical condition” (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2013).  The symptoms of Anxiety Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition should not be better explained by the criterion for another mental disorder and the “disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a delirium” (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2013).  The final criterion, which is shared between most DSM-5 diagnoses, is the symptoms must disrupt the individual’s typical functioning in school, at work, or in other important settings.

Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder

Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder is characterized by panic attacks and/or anxiety caused by a drug of abuse or a pharmaceutical drug.  Diagnosis with Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder requires that there is evidence of two things:  one, the individual’s “symptoms develop during or soon after substance intoxication or withdrawal, or after exposure to a medication”; and two, that “the involved substance/medication is capable of producing the symptoms” (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2013).  Evidence can be acquired through medically reported client history, the results of a physical examination, or the conclusions of laboratory tests.

The symptoms of Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder should not be better explained by the criterion for another Anxiety Disorder.  Determining whether the symptoms are due to a substance or medication requires the diagnosing professional to inquire about the presence of anxiety prior to the use of the substance or medication.

Finally, symptoms must not “occur exclusively during the course of a delirium,” which is characterized by incoherence of thought and speech, delusions, and restlessness (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2013).

Other Specified Anxiety Disorder

The Other Specified Anxiety Disorder diagnosis is applied when the diagnosing professional chooses to specify why the individual does not meet the full criterion for the disorders within this class.  There are four presentations of anxiety that can be diagnosed as Other Specified Anxiety Disorder.  Two of the presentations are considered cultural concepts:  Khyâl cap, or wind attacks; and Ataque de nervios, or attack of nerves.  These phrases are used in the Cambodian and Caribbean cultures, respectively.  Finally, individuals who experience less than four of the symptoms for panic attack and/or individuals whose generalized anxiety occurs less days than not can be diagnosed with Other Specified Anxiety Disorder.

Unspecified Anxiety Disorder

This diagnosis is applied when the diagnosing professional chooses not to specify why the individual does not meet the full criterion for the disorders within this class and/or when there is not enough information available to make a specified diagnosis.  An Unspecified Anxiety Disorder diagnosis is appropriate when an individual receives mental health care in a time-limited setting such as an emergency room.

This concludes the fifth class of Mental Health Diagnoses!  We hope you are more knowledgeable about Anxiety Disorders, that you feel inspired to share what you have learned with others, and that you will help us stop the stigma and start a conversation about mental illness and mental health!

Stay Tuned!

The Introduction to Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders is up next!

References

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013. Web. [access date: 1 July 2018]. dsm.psychiatryonline.org

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