Anxiety disorders and comorbidities

Physical illnesses can trigger such strong fears that they result in an independent psychological condition, such as an anxiety disorder or even depression. The interrelation – origin, causal chain, possibilities of intervention, progression – and above all treatment strategies of these psychological comorbidities are the subject of our research.

Anxiety caused by physical illness

Any serious diagnosis or illness inevitably triggers feelings of anxiety. Heart attacks, strokes, or cancer findings are drastic life events that lead to uncertainty and leave many anxious questions unanswered. Sometimes, however, the fears take on such proportions that they fulfill the diagnostic criteria of an independent anxiety disorder, and thus additionally severely impair the quality of life. If such an anxiety disorder occurs as a concomitant disease of another underlying disease, this is called comorbidity.

Emergency assistance at the university hospital

If anxiety or panic attacks occur as a concomitant of a physical illness during an inpatient stay at the University Hospital, the psychiatric consultation and liaison service of the Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy (PPP) offers assistance. At the request of the attending physician, this service provides immediate help on the ward and advises on further treatment.

Heart failure and anxiety disorder

In cooperation with the Comprehensive Heart Failure Center (CHFC), which is located here at University Hospital Würzburg, we are investigating the interactions between chronic heart failure and depression and anxiety disorders. Based on the results of the Mood-HF study,  for example, we are looking for more effective therapy combinations, as certain antidepressants are not effective on their own in patients with cardiac insufficiency. In the DaCFail study, we analyze the body's own stressors that occur in depression or anxiety disorders and potentially promote heart failure.

Psychological comorbidity in rare diseases

People with rare diseases often have an odyssey of diagnostics behind them before they receive a correct diagnosis.  We know from experience that people with such complex symptoms often have a concomitant mental disorder. As a partner of the Center for Rare Diseases ZESE, we are examining in the project ZSE-DUO whether the simultaneous somatic and psychosomatic treatment of patients with rare diseases improves their well-being.


Portraitfoto von Prof. Dr. med. Jürgen Deckert

Prof. Dr. med.
Jürgen Deckert

Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy

+49 931 201-77000

Porträtfoto von Universitätsprofessor Dr. med. Stefan Störk

Prof. Dr. med.
Stefan Störk

Head of Clinical Research at the DZHI

+49 931 201-46363

Portraitfoto von Prof. Dr. med Helge Hebestreit

Prof. Dr. med.
Helge Hebestreit

Project manager ZSE-DUO

+49 931 201-29001

Contact, Office Hours


Registration for outpatient treatment at the Department for Psychiatry for Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy (PPP)
+49 931 201-77800

Registration in the university outpatient clinic
+49 931 3182839

Registration for outpatient treatment at the Department for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy (KJPPP)
+49 931 201-79600

Email and Fax

PPP Secretariat

+49 931 201-77020

University outpatient clinic secretariat

+4931 31-828390

KJPPP Secretariat

+49 931 201-78620



Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Angsterkrankungen | Universitätsklinikum Würzburg | Magarete-Höppel-Platz 1 |  97078 Würzburg | Deutschland