Proposed Revisions in the DSM-III Classification of Anxiety Disorders Based on Research and Clinical Experience

  • Robert L. Spitzer
  • Janet B. W. Williams


Mental disorders with some form of anxiety as the predominant feature have been recognized since antiquity although the approach of grouping them together into a single diagnostic class called Anxiety Disorders was first taken only a few years ago in the Third Edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III; American Psychiatric Association, 1980). In this paper we review the background to the DSM-III classification of Anxiety Disorders for adults and discuss problems with the diagnostic criteria that have recently become apparent, as well as possible solutions to these problems. A reexamination of how these important categories are defined is timely since in May 1983 a Work Group to Revise DSM-III was appointed by the American Psychiatric Association. This Work Group will consider modifications in the criteria for the various disorders and is scheduled to complete the revision, DSM-III-R, in 1986.


Anxiety Disorder Generalize Anxiety Disorder Social Phobia Panic Disorder Panic Attack 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Spitzer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Janet B. W. Williams
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.New York State Psychiatric InstituteUSA
  2. 2.Columbia UniversityUSA

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