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Fear, or anxiety is an emotion that everyone is familiar with. Its biological purpose is to put the body in a state of alert that enables us to react instantly, and with full force. Thus, humans are able to deal with outside threats in any kind of environment - an indispensable mechanism for survival.
However, there are also fears that render our daily lives cumbersome and impair quality of life. This happens when fear with its concomitant physiological and mental phenomena arises in situations that are essentially not dangerous - a false alarm that triggers an irresistible impulse to flee. One may even know that the anxiety reaction is irrational, it occurs nonetheless. As a consequence, the situations that trigger the anxiety are avoided, or the person tries hard to endure the situation in question as long as it lasts. Unfortunately, in either case anxiety and avoidance behaviour tend to increase, and ultimately, fear and anxiety may influence every aspect of life.
The diagnostic classification of an anxiety disorder depends on the type of situation or stimulus
that triggers the fear.
Depending on the specific type of anxiety disorder and the history of the patient, an individual treatment program will be worked out. After completing the diagnostic examination, the relevant factors for the development and the maintenance of the anxiety disorder will be elucidated, and the planned therapeutic procedures will be explained to the patient. The amount of treatment sessions needed varies between 10-15 (for some specific phobias and uncomplicated panic disorders) and 60-80 (e.g. for severe cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder).