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 me…right??? 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 sensations – People may think they are “going crazy” – More than three in six months is cause for alarm Can cause secondary disorders, such as agoraphobia or social phobias. 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 (compulsions). – Becomes OCD when it takes control of our lives Common Examples of OCD Common Obsessions: Common Compulsions: Contamination fears of germs, dirt, Washing etc. Imagining having harmed self or others Imagining losing control of aggressive urges Repeating Checking Intrusive sexual thoughts or urges Touching Excessive religious or moral doubt Counting Forbidden thoughts Ordering/arranging A need to have things "just so" Hoarding or saving A need to tell, ask, confess Praying 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 event. • Memories of the even cause anxiety.