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Anxiety disorders

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Anxiety disorders. There are four main anxiety disorders recognised by doctors and psychiatrists. These are generalised anxiety, phobias, obsessive compulsive behaviours and post-traumatic stress. Anxiety is a central symptom of all of these. Symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety affects an individual psychologically and physically. It can range from mild to extreme attacks. Psychological symptoms - Feelings of unease, panic and dread. He or she might feel that, with very high levels of anxiety, they are about to die or lose control of their bodily functions. Patients may find it difficult to concentrate, and feel jumpy or unable to relax. Physical symptoms - Increased heart rate (palpitations) and increase in breathing. This is called hyperventilation and is experienced as extreme breathlessness and a sensation of tightness in the chest. Hyperventilation leads to a reduction of carbon monoxide in the blood, which causes the person to feel faint. He or she may also have a dry mouth, a tingling sensation in the hands or feet, headache and back pain. Generalised anxiety disorder. Generalised anxiety occurs in a continuous and unfocused way. There are no specific or obvious external triggers to create a feeling of anxiety. In effect the person is anxious about anything and everything. It is sometimes called free-floating anxiety. It typically begins in a persons mid-teens, and affects about 5% of the population. GAD can have a highly disruptive effects on everyday life and is one of the more difficult anxiety disorders to treat successfully. Phobias. A patient with a phobia has an irrational and disproportionate fear of particular objects, activities or situations. A phobic person can often acknowledge that their response to the phobic stimulus is out of proportion to the actual danger it can cause. ...read more.


Result - A total of 49% of the mz co-twins were also diagnosed as having an anxiety disorder. In the dz twins, as expected, the concordance rate was lower at 4%. Conclusion - The study provides some evidence for the role of genetics in the development of anxiety disorders. Evaluation. If it were a wholly genetic disorder then the concordance rate for mz twins should be 100% for mz twins and 50% for dz twins. Approach does not provide a method of treatment. Psychodynamic approach. Freud believed that there are two types of anxiety. Objective anxiety (realistic anxiety) is caused by an external event. It can often be dealt with in a rational way. With this anxiety there is an environmental cause and is reasonable to feel anxious. Neurotic anxiety is caused by internal psychological conflict. It is the result of the early power struggles between parent and child as a child's personality forms. Freud thought that personality developed in stages and consisted of three parts. The id (which you are born with) is an unconscious part of the personality and is composed of sexual and aggressive instincts. The ego develops in early childhood to keep these basic instincts in check. Freud thought that during this time, parents punish the young child whenever it fails to control sexual or aggressive desires. The child's wishes are often in conflict with the adult expectations, creating tension and distress. To reduce the conflict these painful encounters with adults are repressed. In adulthood, neurotic anxiety occurs when a person is faced with a situation that unconsciously reminds them of this repressed conflict. It represents the fear of the consequences of expressing the id-driven impulses. ...read more.


Client needs to start to understand that negative thoughts contribute to the anxiety disorder. The client may also be taught a variety of distraction techniques to help them manage negative thoughts. Towards the end of the therapy the emphasis will move away from reducing the symptoms of anxiety and towards maintaining the new ideas and thought processes. Evaluation. Clark found that cognitive therapy was highly effective in the treatment of anxiety. However, as with any talking cure the client must be quite articulate and be prepared to be challenged by the therapist. Effectiveness of treatments for anxiety. As we have seen there are different explanations and treatments for anxiety disorders. The behaviourist approach has been successful in treating patients with anxiety. Salkovis and Kirk claim a 75% improvement rate in the treatment of OCD by exposure techniques such as systematic desensitisation. However treatment refusal and drop-out rates are also high. This led Salkovis to recommend a combination of cognitive techniques with behavioural treatments. A collaborative relationship between the therapist and patient can be developed using a cognitive approach. This has been found to reduce treatment refusal. Whilst drug treatments have been effective reducing the symptoms of anxiety, Marks found a high incidence of trouble-some side effects. Also, when patients stop taking the medication, the symptoms may return. However, combining medication with behavioural techniques has been successful because it helps the patient to feel more confident during exposure to anxiety provoking situations. Garfield reported that psychodynamic therapies are effective with well -educated, strongly motivated and confident people, suffering from light to moderate difficulties with anxiety. Researchers call this YAVIS effect, since such people tend to be Young, Attractive, Verbal, Intelligent and Successful. Some psychologists, such as Beitman would argue that any effective therapy must be responsive to the individual client needs. An experienced mental health care practitioner would tailor treatment methods to suit an individual patient. ...read more.

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