Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety Disorders
a group of conditions where the
primary symptoms are anxiety or
defenses against anxiety.
The patient fears something awful
will happen to them.
Often called Neuroses
What is anxiety?
• A state of intense
apprehension, uneasiness,
uncertainty, or fear.
Hey…that sounds like
Differs from normal day to
day anxiety in that anxiety
– or effort to control it –
begins to take control and
dominate life
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
• A person is continuously tense,
apprehensive and in a state of
autonomic nervous system arousal
(cant relax)
• Anxiety is not tied to any particular
object or situation
• Anxiety has a “free-floating” quality
The patient is constantly tense and worried,
feels inadequate, is oversensitive, can’t
concentrate and may suffer from insomnia. can lead to the more serious panic disorder
Panic Disorder
• sudden bouts of intense
unexplained terror
– Panic attacks
– episodes of intense dread, chest
pain, choking and other frightening
– People may think they are “going
– More than three in six months is
cause for alarm
Can cause secondary disorders, such as
agoraphobia or social phobias.
• Irrational or excessive fears of particular objects
or situations
– People recognize that fears are irrational, but still avoid
situations or objects
– Three types
– Social phobia, specific phobia, and agoraphobia
The Phobia
List Link
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
• characterized by unwanted
repetitive thoughts (obsessions)
and/or repetitive actions
– Becomes OCD when it takes control of
our lives
Common Examples of OCD
Common Obsessions:
Contamination fears of germs, dirt,
Imagining having harmed self or
Imagining losing control of
aggressive urges
Intrusive sexual thoughts or urges Touching
Excessive religious or moral doubt
Forbidden thoughts
A need to have things "just so"
Hoarding or saving
A need to tell, ask, confess
Explanations for Anxiety Disorders
• Behavioral
– You Learn them through conditioning,
observational learning, and reinforcement
• Evolution
– fear based on earlier dangers to keep us alive
• Genes
– passed on
• Physiology (the brain)
– brains of those with anxiety disorders actually
function differently
• Cognitive
– The way you look at the world or social
situations (social phobias for example)
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
a.k.a. PTSD
• Flashbacks or
nightmares following
a person’s
involvement in or
observation of an
extremely stressful
• Memories of the
even cause anxiety.