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Ask the Experts

Question:

Can anxiety disorder be cured?

Answered by: Franklin Schneier

"Anxiety Disorders" encompass a variety of diagnoses and can have a wide range of severity. So it is hard to make a blanket statement about anxiety disorders in general.

That said, for most anxiety disorders effective treatments are available and a course of a single treatment will offer meaningful improvement for a majority of patients. A smaller percentage of patients, perhaps a quarter, will experience remission of symptoms (i.e. they will no longer have a level of symptoms sufficient to qualilfy for a clinical diagnosis.

Are such patients "cured"? Often not, in the sense that they may still have a vulnerability to have symptoms recur at some time in the future, especially if they are highly stressed. Given all the caveats above, however, there do seem to be some persons who are cured of anxiety disorder, as evidenced by their stable remission over long periods of time.