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, and phobias, can *****ten exert a disabling influence upon the individual's life, ***** disrupt his or her personal and 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 ***** a normal reaction to a threatening object or situation. It *****roduces 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 ********** reactions are appropriate when faced with incidents of threat or danger, if t***** level ***** anxiety continues after the threat has been removed, ***** if no real threat exists, these physical and psychological symptoms ***** lead to the development of ***** disorders.

Anxiety Disorders

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

General anxiety disorder (GAD).

***** show that GAD *****s 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, with the severity fluctuating with in relation to stress factors. Th***** form ***** anxiety is described as 'free-floating, or diffuse, as it is not associated w*****h any specific ***** or *****, and it causes sufferers to experience a continual feeling of concern ***** tension. Somatic symptoms of ***** include difficulty in sleeping; lightheadedness or 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 (*****, 1980). GAD affects people of both sexes and all ages and, although it is diagnosed more frequently in women ***** ***** men, th***** statistic is misleading as only a quarter of GAD sufferers seek professional treat*****t (P.H.R., 1997).

Panic attacks.

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


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