ch16 - - - - - - - - ANXIETY DISORDERS Excessive fear and...

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- ANXIETY DISORDERS - Excessive fear and caution are linked to some common psychological disorders - DISORDERS WITH EXCESSIVE ANXIETY - Many psychological disorders are marked by anxiety and attempts to avoid anxiety o Anxiety is an apprehensive feeling that something might go wrong o You have an anxiety disorder if your anxiety is more extreme than your circumstances warrant and great enough to interfere with your life - GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER (GAD) - Generalized anxiety disorder – almost constantly plagued by exaggerated worries o “I might get sick” o “I might lose by job” o bc anxiety is a common symptom of so many other diseases, most people with the symptoms of GAD have (or have had or will have) other disorders too, such as depression, panic disorder, or phobia o GAD responds fairly well to both antidepressant drugs and cognitive-bheavior therapy - PANIC DISORDER (PD) - Panic disorder – have frequent periods of anxiety and occasional attacks of panic – rapid breathing, increased heart rate, chest pains, sweating, faintness, and trembling o Usually lasts only minutes, but it is intense during that time o During and after an attack, people worry about fainting, having a heart attack, or becoming insane - More common in women than men - More common in young adults than older ones o Indeed, anxiety in general weakens with age - A few studies have found a high overlap bw panic disorder and join laxity (the ability to bend fingers farther than usual, popularly called “double-jointedness”), which is believed to have a genetic basis - Several theories of panic disorder o One is that people start having strong autonomic responses, such as rapid heartbeat, and interpret the arousal as a heart attack r other emergency Their anxiety about the attack increases the arousal, thus further increasing the anxiety o Another theory is that a panic attack begins with hyperventilation – rapid deep breathing Almost anything that causes hyperventilation makes the body react as if it were suffocating, thereby triggering other sympathetic nervous system responses such as sweating and increased heart rate - Your worry increases the risk of further attacks - People who have repeated panic attacks tart to associate them with places, events, activities, and internal states o Any situation that resembles those of previous panic attacks my trigger a new panic attack as a conditioned response - The usual treatment for panic disorder is cognitive-behavior therapy o Procedures include teaching the patient to control breathing, countering the start of a panic with pleasant imagery, and learning to relax
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For many, just knowing that a panic attack does not mean they are “losing their minds” or having a heart attack helps greatly Therapists also try to identify the thoughts and situations that trigger panic attacks and help a patient deal with those triggers - Many people with panic disorder also have social phobia – a severe avoidance of other people and a fear of doing anything in public, where they might become embarrassed
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2008 for the course PSYCH 10 taught by Professor Zaidel during the Winter '08 term at UCLA.

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ch16 - - - - - - - - ANXIETY DISORDERS Excessive fear and...

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