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FEAR Lab focuses on research of transdiagnostic risk factors, biomarkers and behavioral indices in the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, and mood disorders.


Our goals include:

  • Understanding mood/anxiety disorders etiology, maintenance, and treatment through (potentially) transdiagnostic risk factors.

  • Integrate multiple types of measurement.

  • Develop preventative interventions and refine current interventions for mood/anxiety and distally related conditions through targeting these transdiagnostic risk factors such as anxiety sensitivity, intolerance of uncertainty, negative affect, emotion regulation and others.

  • Understanding the role of transdiagnostic risk factors for variables somewhat outside of mood/anxiety umbrella. Such risk factors include suicide, as well as alcohol and substance abuse.

Reasons to Study Mood & Anxiety Disorders

Major Depressive Episodes

  • 29.9% lifetime morbid risk

  • 8.6% 12-month prevalence

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

  • 10.1% lifetime morbid risk

  • 3.7% 12-month prevalence

Specific Phobia

  • 18.4% lifetime morbid risk

  • 12.1% 12-month prevalence

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • 9.0% lifetime morbid risk

  • 2.0% 12-month prevalence

Social Anxiety Disorder

  • 13.0% lifetime morbid risk

  • 7.4% 12-month prevalence

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

2.7% lifetime morbid risk

1.2% 12-month prevalence

Though the prevalence of anxiety disorders is indeed extensive, there is a silver lining. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, which is another reason why the FEAR lab seeks to learn more about how they can be prevented and treated. As it stands, only about 37% of individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders seek treatment.

Another reason why we concentrate on mood and anxiety disorders is high rates of comorbidity between the two. It common for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression, or vice versa. Nearly half of all patients diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with some variety of an anxiety disorder. Because these two classifications oftentimes occur simultaneously with one another, it’s important to gain understanding in both mood and anxiety disorders. Further, transdiagnostic risk factors such as anxiety sensitivity, intolerance of uncertainty and other may lead to various anxiety and mood disorders. This makes them an important prevention and treatment focus.

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