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 *****s, ***** phobias, can often exert a disabling influence upon the individual's life, and disrupt his or her personal and social interactions. Treatments focus upon helping the individual to identify ***** 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 ***** human behavior" (Beck & Emery, 1985, p. 13), and is a norm*****l reaction to a thre*****tening object or situation. It produces a wide range of physiological and psychological effects that ***** often described as preparing the body for primitive 'fight or flight'. *****se symptoms result from the increased amount of adrenaline that is produced by ***** 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 these reactions are appropriate when faced with incidents of threat or danger, if t***** level of 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 disorders.

Anxiety *****

Anxiety disorders are described as," various combinations ***** physical and mental manifestations of anxiety, not attributable to real danger, and occurring either 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, general ***** disorder (GAD), the other anxiety disorders being ********** ***** (panic disorder), and phobi*****. (P.H.R., 1997).

General anxiety disorder (*****).

***** show that GAD affects between two ***** five percent of the population, and is considered to account for al***** a third ***** 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, with the severity fluctuating with in relation to stress fac*****rs. Th***** form of anxiety is described as 'free-float*****g, or diffuse, as it is not associated with any specific ***** or object, and it causes sufferers to experience a continual feeling of concern and tension. Somatic ***** of ***** include difficulty in sleeping; ligh*****adedness ***** shortness of breath; palpitations; excessive sweating; pallor; and digestive problems. As a *****, many sufferers ***** GAD tend to feel tired, ***** trouble concentrating, ***** sometimes suffer ***** depression (Sainsbury, 1980). GAD affects people of both sexes and all ages and, although it is diagnosed more frequently in women ***** in men, th***** statistic is misleading as only a quarter of ***** sufferers seek professional treat*****t (P.H.R., 1997).

Panic attacks.

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


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