Introduction: Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Why Are We Failing Our Patients?

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Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is associated with considerable distress as well as substantial social and functional impairment comparable to or exceeding the level of disability arising from chronic somatic illnesses.1 This supplement examines the current status of knowledge in GAD and explores mechanisms to bring about optimal outcomes. Most randomized, controlled clinical studies that evaluate treatment efficacy do not assess social and occupational function beyond symptomatic improvement. About 50% to 60% of patients respond to antidepressants,2 but only about one third of patients with depression or anxiety achieve remission (i.e., functional normality indistinguishable from that of individuals without illness).2,3

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(suppl 19):3-4