Preface  pp. xv-xvi


By Helen Blair Simpson, Yuval Neria, Roberto Lewis-Fernández and Franklin Schneier

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Anxiety disorders, including phobias, social anxiety disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and acute and posttraumatic stress disorders, are the most common class of mental disorders. Research into the causes and treatments of these disorders has exploded over the past few decades, yielding a wealth of new information ranging from brain chemistry to cultural influences to evidence-based treatments. In this book, leading researchers from the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry offer clinicians, researchers, and students a variety of perspectives on new developments and important controversies relevant to the theory, research, and treatment of anxiety disorders.

Clinicians will find reviews of state-of-the-art treatments for anxiety disorders, as well as controversies over diagnostic and treatment issues. Researchers will find in-depth consideration of important selected topics, including genetics of anxiety, neuroimaging, animal models of anxiety disorders, contemporary psychoanalytic theory, and the impact of stressors. By bringing experts representing a variety of approaches together in one volume, this book offers a broad selection of critical overviews of research and clinical topics that capture the ferment of this field of science as it exists today. It communicates the enormous advances that have occurred in anxiety research and provides readers with some of the latest thinking that is shaping the future of this field.