Essay - Anxiety Disorders Abstract Anxiety Disorders are a Varied and Complicated...

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Anxiety Disorders


***** disorders are a varied and complicated set of physical and psychological problems that affect more than twenty million Americans. The disorders, which include general anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorders, and phobias, can often exert a disabling influence upon the individual's life, and disrupt his or her personal ***** social interactions. Treatments focus ***** helping the individual to identify and understand the irrationality of their anxiety, and to assist them in fac*****g up to their fears.


Anxiety is, "one of the main motivating forces in much ***** human behavior" (Beck & Emery, 1985, p. 13), ***** ***** a normal reaction to a threatening object or situation. It *****roduces a wide range of physiological and psychological effects that are *****ten described as preparing the body for primitive 'fight or flight'. These symptoms result from the increased amount of adrenaline that is produced by the sympathetic nervous system, which causes an increase in the heart ***** respiration rate, ***** ra*****ing of blood pressure, and the contraction of ***** vessels in the sk***** and intestines as blood is diverted to the heart, lungs and muscles (P.H.R., 1997). Although *****se *****s ***** appropriate when faced with incidents of threat ***** danger, if t***** level of anxiety continues after the threat has been removed, or ***** no real threat exists, these physical and psychological symptoms can lead to the development of anxiety dis*****ders.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are ***** as," various combinations of physical and mental manifestations of anxiety, not attributable to real danger, and occurring ei*****r in attacks or as a persisting state" (Sainsbury, 1980, p. 215). Anxiety disorders ***** over 20 ***** Americans, almost half of whom suffer from its most common condition, ***** ***** disorder (GAD), the other anxiety disorders being *****anic ***** (panic disorder), and phobias. (P.H.R., *****).

General anxiety disorder (*****).

***** show that GAD affects between two ***** five percent of the population, and is considered to account for almost a third of *****ll psychiatric consultations (P.H.R., 1997). GAD may have an acute onset and appear severe in intensity, or it may occur in a chronic *****m, with the severity fluctu*****ting with in relation ***** stress factors. This form of anxiety is described as 'free-float*****g, or diffuse, as it is not associated w*****h any specific ***** or object, and it causes sufferers to experience a continu*****l feeling of concern and tension. Somatic symptoms of GAD include difficulty in sleeping; lightheadedness or sh*****tness of breath; palpitations; excessive sweating; pallor; and digestive problems. As a result, m*****ny sufferers ***** GAD tend to feel tired, have trouble concentrating, ***** sometimes suffer from depression (Sainsbury, 1980). GAD affects people of both sexes and all ages and, although it is diagnosed more frequently in women ***** ***** men, th***** statistic is mis*****ing as only a quarter of GAD sufferers seek professional treat*****t (P.H.R., 1997).

Panic attacks.

A ***** attack is characterized ***** unpredictable attacks of ***** ***** ***** involve ***** that are not related to any particular situation or object.


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