Introduction

Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent, disabling and chronic of all the psychiatric disorders [1,2]. The underdiagnosis and undertreatment of these conditions contributes to their enormous personal and economic costs [3,4]. Fortunately, there have been significant advances in understanding their mediating psychobiology and in developing effective interventions [5]. Such advances can be drawn upon to encourage early detection of these disorders and even to consider interventions aimed at prevention. In this chapter we review research relevant to these issues. We begin by considering each of the major anxiety disorders in turn.

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