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


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Anxiety Disorders

Abstract

Anxiety 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 *****ten 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 their fears.

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Anxiety is, "one of the main motivating forces in much of human behavior" (Beck & Emery, 1985, p. 13), ***** is a norm*****l reaction to a thre*****tening object or situation. It produces a wide range of physiological and psychological effects that ***** *****ten described as preparing the body for primitive 'fight or flight'. *****se 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 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 are appropriate when faced with incidents of threat or danger, if this level ***** 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 *****

Anxiety disorders are ***** as," various combinations of physical and mental manifestations ***** anxiety, *****t attributable to real danger, ***** occurring either in attacks or as a persisting state" (Sainsbury, 1980, p. 215). Anxiety ***** affect over 20 million Americans, almost half of whom suffer from its most common condition, general anxiety disorder (GAD), the other ***** disorders being ********** attacks (panic disorder), and phobias. (P.H.R., *****).

General anxiety disorder (*****).

Studies show that GAD affects between two ***** five percent of the population, and is considered to account for al***** 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 *****m, w*****h the severity fluctu*****ting with in relation to stress factors. Th***** form of anxiety is described as 'free-float*****g, or diffuse, as it is not associated w*****h any specific ***** or object, ***** it causes sufferers to experience a continu*****l feeling of concern and tension. Somatic symp*****ms of GAD include difficulty in sleeping; ligh*****adedness or sh*****tness of breath; palpitations; excessive sweating; pallor; and digestive *****. As a *****, many sufferers ***** ***** 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, this statistic is misleading as only a quarter of GAD sufferers seek professional treatment (P.H.R., 1997).

Panic attacks.

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

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