Chapter 8: Anxiety Disorders

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Chapter 8: Anxiety Disorders

Abnormal Psychology

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An affect with both psychological and physiological aspects. Generally, an unpleasant emotional state accompanied by physiological arousal and the cognitive elements of apprehension, guilt, and a sense of impending disaster. Distiguisged from fear, which is an emotional reaction to a specific or identifiable object.
anxiety disorders
Formerly called neurosis or neurotic disorders. Characterized by some form of anxiety as the most prominent symptons. Includes panic disorders, phobic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disroder, and reactions to stressors.
Generalized Anxiety Disorders
Persistent anxiety that lasts at least one month and include several of the following: motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity, apprehensive expectation, vigilance, and scanning. The symptons do not include phobias, panic attacks, obsessions, or compulsions.
panic attacks
A rapidly rising surge of intense anxiety that occurs suddenly, either with or without clear cues, in an unpredictable fashion.
excessive or inapprorriate fear of some particular object or situation that is not in fact dangerous.
phobic disorders
Type of anxiety disorder mainly chracterized by irrational and highly specific fears (for example, of dirt, water, high places, etc.)
Specific phobias
Persistent irrational fears associated with a particular type of object (for instance, spiders or dogs) or situation (for instance, being in a closed area or high places).
social phobias
Type of irrational fear of those situations inwhich a person will be exposed to the scrutiny of others. Most common types are fear of blushing, public speaking, eating in public, writing in public, and using public toilet facilities.
Pathological fear of open spaces.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Characterized by recurrent obsessions and/or compulsions, often accompanied by depression or anxiety.
obsessive Behavior
Characterized by preoccupation with a particular type of thought that keeps ocuring repetitively.
compulsive behavior
Behavior characterized by an indivdual's need to repeat a series of acts again and again, even though he or she perceives them as senseless and/or interfering with desirable activities.
Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome
Development of symptons in response to events of such severity that most people would be stressed by them. Symptons often include a feeling of numbness in response, or psycholigcal reexperiencing of the event in thoughts, dreams, or nightmares.
The significant overlap or co-occurrence of symptons and conditions in different disorders. The common finding of comorbidity in depression and anxiety, for instance, makes it important to understand the relationship between these two disorders.
Defense mechanism by which inconsistent or contradictory attitudes and feelings are walled off from each other in consciousness. Similar to repression, except that in isolation the impulse or wish is consciously recognized, but is separated from present behavior; in repression, neither the wish nor its relation to action is recognized. Intellectualization is a special form of isolation.
Defense mechanism aimed at negating or atoning for some disapproved impulse or act.
reaction formation
Defense mechanism that enables the individual to expess an unacceptable impulse by transforming it into its opposite.
Behavior Therapy
Includes several techniques of behavior modification based on laboratory-derived principles of learning and conditioning. Behavior therapies focus on moifying overt behaviors, with minimal reference to internal or covert events.
Exposure Therapy
Requiring the client to participate in anxiety-provoking situations under supportive supervision until the anxiety response is extinguished. Based on the classical conditioning approach.
Systematic Desensistization
Learning theory based therapeutic technique in which a client is first trained in muscle relaxation, and then imagines a series of increasingly anxiety-provoking situations, until he or she no longer experinces anxiety while thinking about the stimuli. Learning principle involved is reciprocal inhibition, according to which two compatible responses (e.g., anxiety and relaxation) cannot be made simultaneously by one person.
Implosive therapy
Behavior thereapy technique based on the principle of extinction. Client is repeatedly presented with strong anxiety-provoking stimuli until he or she no longer reacts in an anxious manner.
In vivio exposure therapy
A technique used in cognitive therapy or desensitization, in which the indivdual practices adaptive cognitions or relaxation behavior in the actual presences of the anxiety-producing object or situation.
Behavioral therapeutic technique used particulary in the treatment of phobias. Treatment consists of exposing the client to the feared stimulus unti lthe fear response has been extinguished.
behavior learned or modified as a result of obsvering the behavior of others. Learner does not have to make the observed response him or herself, or be reinforced for making it, to learn the new behavior.
Cogntive-Behavioral Therapy
A herapeutic approach that integrates methods from cogntive and behavioral therapies. It includes structured training sessions and prescribed excercises, to help clients change maladaptive behavior by changing specific types of thoughts )about themselves and others) that typically occure in certain situations.
Cogntive Restructuring
A technique used by Albert Ellis and other cogntive therapists, in which the client is made aware of a connection between unrealistic thoughts and the maladaptive behavior that these evoke. Clients are helped to develop more rational ways of looking at their behavior.
Thought Stopping
A cogntive technique that uses a specific command as a distraction to end a period of obsessive thinking.
Cogntive Rehearsing
Procedure in which a client learns to mentally rehearse ways to handle problem situtaions. Such rehearsal makes it easier for the client to behave effectively in the actual situations.
cogntive therapy
A form of psychotherapy that is focused on changing cognitions that lead to maladaptive behavior, by restructing thinking so that maladaptive thoughts ar replaced with thoughts that lead to more effective coping.
A small structure deep inside the brain that may be abnormally activiated in anxiety disorder.
One of two ridges along the lateral ventricles of the brain. Involved with the experience of emotion.
Group of drugs, such as Librium and Valium, used primarily to treat anxiety.