Psychological Disorders SSRIs and Anxiety Disorders Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of drug commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. They raise the level of serotonin in the brain by preventing it from being reabsorbed back into cells that released it. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects sleep, alertness, appetite, and other functions. Abnormal levels of serotonin can lead to mood disorders. Conditioning and Learning Research shows that conditioning and learning also play a role in anxiety disorders: • Classical conditioning: People can acquire anxiety responses, especially phobias, through classical conditioning and then maintain them through operant conditioning. A neutral stimulus becomes associated with anxiety by being paired with an anxiety-producing stimulus. After this classical conditioning process has occurred, a person may begin to avoid the conditioned anxiety-producing stimulus. This leads to a decrease in anxiety, which reinforces the avoidance through an operant conditioning process. For
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