Phobias OCD & PTSD lecture notes

Phobias OCD & PTSD lecture notes - Picking up from...

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Picking up from where we left in class… Powerpoint Psychological Disorders, Part 1 (Specific) Phobias We’ve spoken previously in the semester about the phenomenon of phobias in the learning chapter. The DSM refers to them as Specific Phobias and defines them as “a marked and persistent fear of an object or situation which brings about an excessive or unreasonable fear when in the presence of, or anticipating, a specific object.” To get a good understanding of what I’m about to talk about (time permitting), you should check out this video about a man with a Pit Bull Phobia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDvDCqLCdEE You’ve definitely heard of phobias before (Claustrophobia: fear of enclosed places); however, Specific Phobias are characterized by full on fear that is elicited by the presence of an event/object that is in our environment. Many people feel anxious in enclosed places or want to avoid being around spiders/heights, but this worry becomes a phobia because worry becomes a fear that results in abnormal feelings, dysfunctional behaviors, and (as marked by all the other anxiety disorders) recognizing that the fear is irrational. This fear is an excessive, abnormal reaction/feelings demonstrated by the wildly disproportional reaction to the actual risk. When someone has Arachnophobia (the fear of spiders and other arachnids such as scorpions), their reaction is markedly exaggerated from a normal individual’s reaction to a spider. When a normal person sees a spider, the individual will usually avoid it, not pick it up, and then when the spider is out of sight, it is also out of mind. However, an individual with an actual phobia becomes rendered an emotional wreck when exposed to their trigger, such as a spider. Exposure to the phobic stimulus almost invariably provokes an immediate anxiety response, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally predisposed panic attack. ( Note: In children, the anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums , freezing, or clinging.) In addition, there is no “out of sight, out of mind”. Phobias result in preoccupation with the specific object/event…in other words, there is fear when the object/event is present, and anxiety/worry that we will encounter the object/event and feel that fear again. Phobias also result in marked dysfunction in our everyday functioning by imposing unwanted restrictions on these individuals’ lives. When we have this fear/anxiety about something specific, we naturally want to avoid it. This active avoidance can of course affect our behaviors in everyday life. Imagine always being extremely fearful and almost constantly worried about seeing a spider in public, especially in a place like Arkansas! If you watched the
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