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Compare and contrast biological and psychological explanations of anxiety disorders

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Introduction

Compare and contrast biological and psychological explanations of anxiety disorders Research has often concluded that no one biological or psychological theory can provide a sufficient explanation into anxiety disorders such as depression. The diathesis stress model explains psychological anxiety disorders as an interaction between a predisposition to the disorder and environmental stress. In terms of anxiety disorders, predispositions include aspects of biological and psychological factors. Often the main problem found with psychological explanations of anxiety disorders, especially the psychodynamic theory, is that is the theories are more difficult to test. With Freud's theory, which is largely based on the working of the unconscious mind, it makes it impossible to prove or disprove. ...read more.

Middle

When analysing genetic influences, the medical model attempts to identify a specific gene and, although genes appear to be involved, the role of genetic factors in anxiety disorders is enormously complex. Little is also known about the role of biochemistry plays in anxiety disorder. We know very little about the way in which neurotransmitters like serotonin actually work. It is hard to know whether neurotransmitter changes are a cause or effect. Biological theories are at best suggestive rather than conclusive. They suggest why some people are predisposed to phobias and why some phobias are more common than others. However the evidence used to support biological theories can often be used to support other alternative environmental explanations. ...read more.

Conclusion

However in twin studies, in MZ twins share around 100 per cent of their genes. If genes are a major factor in anxiety disorders then we would expect a higher percentage of identical twins to share the disorder. The behavioral view is that individuals are active in determining their behaviour. There is evidence to support the behavioral views. Behaviorists argue that phobias are learnt by classical conditioning and reinforced by operant conditioning. In concerning depression, according to, Lewinsohn (1974), a depressed person becomes trapped in a cycle of withdrawal which leads to a lack of positive reinforcement, perpetuating depression. Socially unskilled people may be more prone to depression. The problem with the behavioral account as we have seen is it has difficulties accounting for why people all over the world are similar. ...read more.

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