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What Is Anxiety Study Notes

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What is Anxiety?
- An emotion characterized by physical symptoms, future-oriented thoughts, and escape or
avoidance behaviors
- Occurs when people encounter a new situation or anticipate a life-changing event
- Usually is time-limited and ends when the event is over
Anxiety and Fear
- What distinguishes fear from anxiety?
- Fear is the body’s response to an immediate serious threat to one’s well-being
- Anxiety is the body’s response to a vague sense of being in danger
- How are they alike?
- Both have the same physiological features and prepare us for action
- Both increase respiration, perspiration, muscle tension and others
- Anxiety - an emotional state characterized by physiological arousal, unpleasant feelings of
tension, and a sense of apprehension or foreboding
- Anxiety disorder - a class of psychological disorders characterized by excessive or
maladaptive anxiety reactions
- It is a category of psychological disorders in which the primary symptoms
involve extreme anxiety, intense arousal, and/or extreme attempts to avoid
stimuli that lead to fear and anxiety
Fight or Flight Response
- Nervous System composed of:
- CNS - brain and spinal cord
- PNS - all other nerves in the body
- Somatic sensory system - Sensory and voluntary motor functions
- Autonomic nervous system (parasympathetic and sympathetic divisions)
- Involuntary movements
Elements of Anxiety
- Three components to anxiety and fear:
- Physiological response
- Increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, blushing,
buzzing/ringing in the ears, muscle tension, irritability, fatigue
- Cognitive Symptoms
- Or subjective distress
- Behavioral Response
- Avoidance or escape
Normal Anxiety vs. Abnormal Anxiety
- Factors to consider:
- Presence of functional impairment
- Does it affect daily life?
- Developmental Age
- Cognitive development, not actual chronological age
- Sociodemographic factors
- Sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status
Common Fears at Various Developmental Ages

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- Age: - Fears:
- 1-2 - strangers
- 3-5 - dark
- 6-9 - school
- 9-12 - tests
- 13+ - social interaction/peers
What are the DSM5 Anxiety Disorders?
- Group of disorders characterized by heightened physical arousal, cognitive distress/excessive
worry, and behavioral avoidance of feared objects/situations/events
- Anxiety disorders differ from one another in the types of objects or situations that induce fear,
anxiety, or avoidance behavior, as well as the cognitive ideation.
- Panic disorder
- Agoraphobia
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Specific phobias
- Selective mutism
- Separation anxiety disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Characterized by uncontrollable worry and anxiety about many different things
- They worry and anxiety can focus on family, finances, work, and illness (these are some
of the top reported) - even tiny minor things
- People with GAD worry when things are going well, and they cannot stop worrying
- They symptoms are chronic, and since patients function adequately, they tend to see their
worrying and anxiety as part of themselves
- This “free-floating” anxiety may be so intrusive as to affect concentration, sleeping, and
cause irritability
DSM5 Criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Excessive anxiety and worry at least 50 percent of days in about at least two life domains (e.g.,
family, health, finances, work, and school)
- The individual finds it difficult to control the worry
- The anxiety and worry are associated with at least three of the following:
- 1. restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
- 2. being easily fatigued
- 3. difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
- 4. Irritability
- 5. muscle tension
- 6. sleep disturbance
- The worry is sustained for at least 6 months
- ***WAY TO REMEMBER→ MR. FITS WORRIES CHRONICALLY
- Muscle tension, Restlessness, Fatigue, Irritability, Trouble concentrating, Sleep
disturbance
Key Features of GAD
- The symptoms must last at least six months

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What is Anxiety? - An emotion characterized by physical symptoms, future-oriented thoughts, and escape or avoidance behaviors - Occurs when people encounter a new situation or anticipate a life-changing event - Usually is time-limited and ends when the event is over Anxiety and Fear - What distinguishes fear from anxiety? - Fear is the body’s response to an immediate serious threat to one’s well-being - Anxiety is the body’s response to a vague sense of being in danger - How are they alike? - Both have the same physiological features and prepare us for action - Both increase respiration, perspiration, muscle tension and others - Anxiety - an emotional state characterized by physiological arousal, unpleasant feelings of tension, and a sense of apprehension or foreboding - Anxiety disorder - a class of psychological disorders characterized by excessive or maladaptive anxiety reactions - It is a category of psychological disorders in which the primary symptoms involve extreme anxiety, intense arousal, and/or extreme attempts to avoid stimuli that lead to fear and anxiety Fight or Flight Response - Nervous System composed of: - CNS - brain and spinal cord - PNS - all other nerves in the body - Somatic sensory system - Sensory and voluntary motor functions - Autonomic nervous system (parasympathetic and sympathetic divisions) - Involuntary movements Elements of Anxiety - Three components to anxiety and fear: - Physiological response - Increased heart rate, shortness of breat ...
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