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Understanding Anxiety

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This study is the first of its kind to diachronically analyze how the use of language surrounding anxiety has changed in each version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Using corpus linguistic technology, the collocations of the word “anxiety” were analyzed and ranked using log dice to determine the strength of associations both within and across each version of this clinical guide. The results demonstrate that collocations among anxiety are changing with each published manual. In addition, specific diagnoses (i.e., generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, and panic disorder) are in flux over time. Lastly, the interpersonal language associated with anxiety is changing, leading to implications for both researchers and clinicians in the field of mental health.

Keywords: DSM, Anxiety, Corpus linguistics, Collocates

Authors: Matthew Rensi, James Geisler, Justin Jacques, Charles Silber

March 22, 2024

Status: Published

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