The causes of anxiety disorders are unknown and thus, at this stage, knowing how to prevent their development is difficult. While we currently do not have the answers, research into anxiety prevention is growing and some initial evidence shows promising results.
Early treatment can perhaps prevent the level of disability/dysfunction reached when suffering from anxiety disorders.
Early treatment of panic disorder can often stop the progression to agoraphobia.
There is also some preliminary evidence to suggest that early treatment of a person who has been exposed to a terrifying trauma may prevent the onset of PTSD.
Reviewed by Dr Stefanie van Vuuren, MB ChB (Stell), M Med (Psig) (Stell), FC (Psych)SA, Psychiatrist in private practice, Cape Town. February 2015.
Previously reviewed by Dr Soraya Seedat, psychiatrist and co-director, MRC Unit on Anxiety and Stress Disorders.