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, ***** phobias, can *****ten 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 their fears.


Anxiety is, "one of the main motivating forces in much ***** human behavior" (Beck & Emery, 1985, p. 13), ***** ***** a norm*****l reaction to a thre*****tening object or situation. It ********** a wide range of physiological and 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, ***** causes an increase in the heart ***** respiration rate, the ra*****ing of blood pressure, and the contraction of ***** vessels in the skin ***** 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 ***** danger, if t***** level of anxiety continues after the threat has been removed, or if no real ***** exists, ***** physical and psychological symptoms can lead to the development of anxiety dis*****ders.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are described 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 disorders affect over 20 million Americans, almost half of whom suffer from its most common condition, ***** anxiety disorder (GAD), the other ***** disorders being ***** ***** (********** disorder), and phobias. (P.H.R., 1997).

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

Studies 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, ***** the sever*****y fluctuating with in relation to stress factors. Th***** form of anxiety is ***** as 'free-floating, or diffuse, as it is not associated with any specific situation or *****, ***** 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 *****. As a *****, many sufferers ***** GAD tend to feel tired, have trouble concentrating, and sometimes suffer ***** depression (*****, 1980). GAD ***** people of both sexes and all ages and, although it is diagnosed more frequently in women than ***** men, th***** statistic is mis*****ing as only a quarter of ***** sufferers seek professional treat*****t (P.H.R., 1997).

Panic attacks.

A panic attack is characterized by unpredictable attacks of severe anxiety ***** involve symptoms that are not related to any particular situation or object.


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