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 *****s, and phobias, can *****ten exert a disabling influence upon the individual's life, ***** disrupt his or her personal and 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.


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'. 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, ***** the contraction of ***** vessels in the skin 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 of anxiety continues after the threat has been removed, or if no real ***** exists, these physical and psychological symptoms can lead to the development of anxiety disorders.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are described as," various combinations ***** 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 ***** affect over 20 million Americans, almost half of whom suffer from its most common condition, ***** anxiety disorder (GAD), ***** other anxiety disorders being ***** ***** (panic disorder), and phobias. (P.H.R., *****).

***** anxiety disorder (*****).

***** 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 form, w*****h the severity fluctu*****ting with in relation ***** stress factors. Th***** ***** of anxiety is described as 'free-float*****g, or diffuse, as it is not associated with any specific ***** or *****, ***** it causes sufferers to experience a continu*****l feeling of concern and tension. Somatic symptoms of ***** include difficulty in sleeping; lightheadedness ***** shortness of breath; palpitations; excessive sweating; pallor; and digestive problems. As a *****, many sufferers ***** GAD tend to feel tired, ***** trouble concentrating, and 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 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 severe ***** that involve ***** ***** are not related to any particular situation or object.


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