Fundamentals_of_Abnormal_Psychology_6e_Ch04

Anxiety disorder links the cognitive process of

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Unformatted text preview: to say that clinicians currently know more about the causes of phobias, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder than about generalized anxiety disorder. It is worth noting that the insights about panic disorder and obsessivecompulsive disorder—once among the field’s most puzzling patterns—did not emerge until clinical theorists took a look at the disorders from more than one perspective and integrated those views. Today’s cognitive explanation of panic disorder, for example, builds squarely on the biological idea that the disorder begins with abnormal brain activity and unusual physical sensations. Similarly, the cognitive explanation of obsessivecompulsive disorder takes its lead from the biological position that some people are predisposed to experience more unwanted and intrusive thoughts than others. It may be that a fuller understanding of generalized anxiety disorder awaits a similar integration of the various models. In fact, such an integration has already begun to unfold. Recall, for example, that one of the new wave cognitive explanations for generalized ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 129 BETWEEN THE LINES Young Dreams Studies indicate that infants who are generally anxious or “difficult” are more likely than other infants to later experience nightmares throughout their childhood (Simard et al., 2008). << 12/10/09 11:16:37 AM 130 ://CHAPTER 4 •stress management program•An approach to treating generalized and other anxiety disorders that teaches clients techniques for reducing and controlling stress. anxiety disorder links the cognitive process of worrying to heightened bodily arousal in individuals with the disorder. Similarly, a growing number of theorists are adopting a diathesis-stress view of generalized anxiety disorder. They believe that certain individuals have a biological vulnerability toward developing the disorder—a vulnerability that is eventually brought to the surface by psychological and sociocultural factors. Indeed, genetic investigators have discovered that certain genes may determine whether a person reacts to life’s stressors calmly or in a tense manner, and developmental researchers have found that even during the earliest stages of life some infants become particularly aroused when stimulated (Burijon, 2007; Kalin, 1993). Perhaps these easily aroused infants have inherited defects in GABA functioning or other biological limitations that predispose them to generalized anxiety disorder. If, over the course of their lives, the individuals also face intense societal pressures, learn to interpret the world as a dangerous place, or come to regard worrying as a useful tool, they may be candidates for developing generalized anxiety disorder. Diathesis-stress principles may also be at work in the development of phobias. Several studies suggest, for example, that certain infants are born with a style of social inhibition or shyness that may increase their risk of developing a social phobia (Smoller et al., 2003; Kagan & Snidman, 1999, 1991). Perhaps peopl...
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This note was uploaded on 01/07/2013 for the course PSY 270 taught by Professor Hall during the Spring '05 term at University of Phoenix.

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