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 ***** helping the individual to identify and understand the irrationality of their anxiety, and to assist them in facing up to ***** fears.


Anxiety is, "one of the main motivating forces in much ***** 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 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, ***** 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 ********** *****s are appropriate when faced with incidents of threat or danger, if t***** level of 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, *****t attributable to real danger, and occurring either in attacks or as a persisting state" (Sainsbury, 1980, p. 215). Anxiety disorders ***** over 20 ***** Americans, almost half of whom suffer from its most common condition, general ***** disorder (GAD), the other anxiety disorders being *****anic ***** (panic disorder), and phobias. (P.H.R., *****).

General anxiety disorder (GAD).

Studies show that GAD affects between two ***** five percent of the population, and is considered to account for al***** 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 *****m, ***** the severity fluctu*****ting with in relation to stress fac*****rs. This form of anxiety is described as 'free-float*****g, or diffuse, as it is not associated w*****h any specific ***** or *****, ***** it ***** sufferers to experience a continu*****l feeling of concern and tension. Somatic symp*****ms of GAD include difficulty in sleeping; lightheadedness ***** shortness of breath; palpitations; excessive sweating; pallor; and digestive *****. As a *****, many sufferers of ***** tend to feel tired, ***** trouble concentrating, ***** sometimes suffer from 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 treatment (P.H.R., 1997).

Panic attacks.

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


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