What is it?

Anxiety disorders are prevalent, serious and persistent health problems affecting behaviour, thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. Research shows that 10-20 per cent of the population experiences such disorders.

An anxiety disorder is much more than the occasional stress that everyone experiences in their lives. An anxiety disorders is not a sign of weakness, they should be regarded as seriously as any physical illness. Characteristics of anxiety disorders include excessive anxiety, exaggerated fears known as phobias, worry, panic attacks, avoidance, obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions. People of all social, economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds can be affected. Health, relationships and overall functioning can also be impacted.

Anxiety disorders include:


At The Royal, anxiety disorders are treated by a combination of medication and cognitive behavioural therapies in group and individual sessions tailored to specific anxiety disorders.

The Royal’s Anxiety Disorders Program provides a wide range of specialty services, including regular and extended consultations, medication treatment and psychological therapies using proven and efficient interventions. The program is suitable for adults aged 18-65 with Axis I anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia and specific phobia. The program specializes in treating patients who do not respond to conventional treatment.

Treatment is provided by a team of professionals with specialized knowledge and expertise in dealing with the medical and psychological aspects of anxiety as well as social and vocational rehabilitation. The program team will also liaise with family physicians and community mental health agencies as required to ensure that patients receive the best ongoing care.


A physician referral is needed for assessment, treatment, and follow-up in our Mood and Anxiety Outpatient Program. If you are a referring physician, please visit our referral webpage. If you are a client or family member, please contact your family physician.

The Anxiety Disorders Program contributes to leading-edge research at the Stress and Anxiety Clinical Research Unit on biological, genetic and psychological causes of anxiety disorders and development of new, unique treatment strategies. Clients likely to benefit from research (for example new interventions or new investigations) and teaching will also be accepted for treatment under the Anxiety Disorders Program.


Crisis Services for People with Anxiety Disorders
A crisis intervention service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Mental Health Crisis Service can be reached at 613.722.6914 or 1.866.996.0991.

Psychiatric Emergency Services at The Ottawa Hospital can be reached at 613.722.7000.

The following are some community resources for persons with anxiety disorders (websites contain educational and advocacy information):

Self-help Books About Coping With Anxiety Disorders

^ Back to top
Share this page