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Module 48 Mr. Ng Abnormal Psychology Unit 13. Anxiety Disorders Anxiety Disorder: Distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce.

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Presentation on theme: "Module 48 Mr. Ng Abnormal Psychology Unit 13. Anxiety Disorders Anxiety Disorder: Distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce."— Presentation transcript:

1 Module 48 Mr. Ng Abnormal Psychology Unit 13

2 Anxiety Disorders Anxiety Disorder: Distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling of impending doom or disaster characterized by: – Mood symptoms: tension, agitation, etc. – Bodily symptoms: sweating, increased heart rate, muscular tension, etc. – Cognitive symptoms: worry, distractibility

3 Anxiety Disorders We will look at: – Panic Disorder – Generalized anxiety disorder – Phobias – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

4 Anxiety Disorders Panic Disorder: when an individual experiences repeated attacks of intense anxiety, along with: – severe chest pain – tightness of muscles – choking – feeling light-headed or faint – profuse sweating – clammy hands

5 Symptoms can last for a few minutes to a couple of hours Panic attacks have no apparent trigger and can happen at any time Since they are statistically rare, having perhaps 3 of these in a 6- month period would be cause for alarm. Anxiety Disorders

6 Generalized Anxiety Disorder: a person is unexplainable and continually tense and uneasy. Similar to panic disorder. Panic disorder has acute symptoms short in duration, whereas generalized anxiety disorder has less-intense symptoms for a longer period of time. Anxiety Disorders

7 Phobias: intense, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation. – 5% of the population suffers from some mild form of phobic disorder. – A fear turns into a phobia when a compelling, irrational desire to avoid a dreaded situation or object, disrupts the person’s daily life. Anxiety Disorders

8 Common phobias include: – Agoraphobia: fear of being out in public – Acrophobia: fear of heights – Claustrophobia: fear of enclosed spaces – Social Phobia: fear of being scrutinized by others (extreme shyness). Anxiety Disorders

9 Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD): unwanted repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and/or actions (compulsions) that you feel compelled to perform. A person who has OCD probably knows they have it, but feels unable to resist their compulsions and break free. Anxiety Disorders

10 Obsession: persistent, intrusive, and unwanted thoughts that an individual cannot get out of his/her mind. – Different from worries; they generally involve a unique topic (e.g. dirt, contamination, death, aggression), are often offensive, and are seen as uncontrollable. Anxiety Disorders

11 Compulsion: ritualistic behaviors performed repeatedly, which the person does to reduce the tension created by the obsession. – Common compulsions: hand washing, counting, checking, touching. Anxiety Disorders

12 Most people with OCD are either: – Washers: afraid of contamination. – Checkers: repeatedly check things they associate with harm or danger. – Doubters: afraid if everything isn’t perfect something terrible will happen. – Counters: obsessed with order and symmetry. – Hoarders: fear something bad will happen if they throw anything away. Anxiety Disorders

13 Example of OCD: a person thinks about germs all the time and washes their hands three times in a row every time they pass a sink. You may check the stove 20 times to make sure its off. Hoarders Anxiety Disorders

14 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): The result of some trauma experienced (natural disaster, war, violent crime) by the victim. Characterized by haunting memories, nightmares, social withdrawal, jumpy anxiety, and/or insomnia that lingers for 4 or more weeks after a traumatic experience. Anxiety Disorders

15 Victims re-experience the traumatic event in nightmares about the event, or flashbacks in which the individual relives the event and behaves as if he/she is experiencing at that moment. Victims may also experience reduced involvement with the external world, and general arousal characterized by hyper-alertness, guilt, and difficulty concentrating. Anxiety Disorders

16 The Learning Perspective Fear Conditioning: Anxiety develops when bad events happen. We are classically conditioned to fear when we experience bad things. Observational learning: acquiring fears by observing others’ fears. We transmit fears just as if we experienced them ourselves. Explaining Anxiety Disorders

17 The Biological Perspective Natural Selection: We fear things that were dangerous to our ancestors. Those that did not fear those things died from them and thus their genes were not passed on. Ex. Some snakes are poisonous and thus were feared by ancestors and now are feared by us. Explaining Anxiety Disorders

18 Genes: We inherit traits that are predisposed to certain fears and high anxiety. Ex. Twins develop similar phobias. Brain: Certain regions of our brains are over aroused. Those regions are involved in impulse control and habitual behaviors. Explaining Anxiety Disorders

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