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 *****s, and phobias, can often exert a disabling influence upon the individual's life, and disrupt his or her personal ***** social interactions. Treatments focus upon helping the individual to identify and understand the irrationality of their anxiety, and to assist them in facing up to ***** fears.


Anxiety is, "one of the main motivating forces in much ***** human behavior" (Beck & Emery, 1985, p. 13), and ***** a norm*****l reaction to a thre*****tening object or situation. It *****roduces a wide range of physiological ***** psychological effects that are often 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 and respiration rate, the raising of blood pressure, and the contraction of blood vessels in the skin and intestines as blood is diverted to the heart, lungs and muscles (P.H.R., 1997). Although ********** *****s ***** appropriate when faced with incidents of threat or danger, if t***** level of anxiety continues after the threat has been removed, or ***** no real ***** exists, these physical and psychological symptoms can lead to the development of ***** dis*****ders.

Anxiety *****

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

***** anxiety disorder (GAD).

***** show that GAD affects between two and five percent of the population, and is considered to account for almost a third ***** *****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 **********, ***** the sever*****y fluctuating with in relation ***** stress factors. Th***** form of anxiety is described as 'free-floating, or diffuse, as it is not associated w*****h any specific situation or *****, ***** it causes sufferers to experience a continu*****l feeling of concern and tension. Somatic ***** of GAD include difficulty in sleeping; ligh*****adedness or sh*****tness of breath; palpitations; excessive sweating; pallor; and digestive *****. As a result, m*****ny sufferers ***** ***** tend ***** feel tired, ***** trouble concentrating, and sometimes suffer from depression (Sainsbury, 1980). GAD affects people of both sexes and all ages and, although it is diagnosed more frequently in women ***** in men, this statistic is mis*****ing as only a quarter of ***** sufferers seek professional treatment (P.H.R., 1997).

Panic attacks.

A panic attack is characterized ***** unpredictable attacks of ***** anxiety that involve symptoms ***** are ***** related to any particular situation or object.


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