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

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Anxiety Disorders


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, ***** 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 fac*****g up to their fears.


Anxiety is, "one of the main motivating forces in much of 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 often described as preparing the body for primitive 'fight or flight'. These symptoms result from the increased amount of adrenaline that is produced by ***** sympathetic nervous system, ***** causes an increase in the heart and respiration rate, ***** raising 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 these *****s are appropriate when faced with incidents of threat ***** danger, if t***** 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 Disorders

Anxiety disorders ***** described 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 ***** over 20 million Americans, almost half of whom suffer from its most common condition, ***** anxiety disorder (GAD), ***** other ***** disorders being ***** ***** (panic disorder), and phobi*****. (P.H.R., 1997).

General anxiety disorder (GAD).

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

Panic attacks.

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


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