What Is Anxiety Disorder Due to a Medical Condition?
The main feature of anxiety disorder due to a medical condition is that the severe anxiety and resulting impairment must be directly due to the physical effects of a medical condition, such as hyperthyroidism. The anxiety cannot be caused by how the individual feels about the disease—anxiety must develop due to the physical results of the disease. For example, the anxiety cannot begin because you are upset about having the disease. If that is the case, then the mental health provider would diagnose the person with adjustment disorder with anxiety, meaning that you are having difficulty “adjusting” to a life stressor. Diagnosing for mental health disorders is difficult and this disorder can be especially tricky. The criteria for diagnosis include:
You have severe anxiety from panic attacks, generalized anxiety, or obsessions and compulsions.
Medical exams, tests, and your medical history show that your anxiety is directly related to a general medical condition.
Your symptoms are not caused by another mental condition or delirium.
Your symptoms create severe emotional disturbance or disruption in your life.
The clinician making the diagnosis must also be sure that another anxiety disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder is not the cause of your distress before diagnosing you. This will ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.