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 ***** fears.


Anxiety is, "one of the main motivating forces in much ***** human behavior" (Beck & Emery, 1985, p. 13), and is a normal reaction to a threatening object or situation. It produces a wide range of physiological ***** psychological effects that are *****ten described as preparing the body for primitive 'fight or flight'. ********** 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, ***** raising of blood pressure, and the contraction of blood vessels in the sk***** ***** intestines as ***** is diverted to the heart, lungs and muscles (P.H.R., 1997). Although ********** *****s ***** appropriate when faced with incidents of threat or danger, if this level ***** anxiety continues after the threat has been removed, or if no real threat exists, these physical and psychological symptoms ***** lead to the development of ***** dis*****ders.

Anxiety Disorders

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

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 *****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 fac*****rs. Th***** form ***** anxiety is described as 'free-float*****g, or diffuse, as it is not associated with any specific situation or object, ***** it ***** sufferers to experience a continu*****l feeling of concern and tension. Somatic ***** of GAD include difficulty in sleeping; lightheadedness ***** shortness of breath; palpitations; excessive sweating; pallor; and digestive *****. As a *****, m*****ny sufferers ***** GAD tend to feel tired, ***** trouble concentrating, and sometimes suffer ***** depression (*****, 1980). GAD ***** people of both sexes and all ages and, although it is diagnosed more frequently in women ***** in 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 ***** of severe ***** that involve symptoms that are ***** related to any particular situation or object.


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