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What is the diagnosis?


A college student has made an appointment to speak with a counselor at her
university’s counseling center about troublesome symptoms she has experienced on a
number of occasions over the last six months. The symptoms include chest pain, nausea,
pounding heart, and dizziness. A recent medical exam failed to identify any physical
problems. Which of the following DSM-5 diagnoses is this student MOST LIKELY suffering from?

A. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
B. Social Anxiety Disorder
C. Panic Disorder
D. Specific Phobia


The correct answer is “C” – Panic Disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (answer “A”) is
not correct because Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive anxiety about
a number of events or activities. Social Anxiety Disorder (answer “B”) is not correct because
a Social Phobia is evoked by social or performance situations. Specific Phobia (answer “D”) is
not correct because the diagnosis of Specific Phobia would be appropriate if these symptoms
were evoked by a specific object or situation other than a social situation.

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