You may have an anxiety disorder if you feel nervous and afraid when you are not in any danger. This means
- you think you are losing control;
- you feel that you cannot breathe;
- you feel that you are choking;
- you have pains in your chest;
- you feel dizzy;
- you feel chilly or very hot;
- you feel tingling in your hands or mouth.
Two common kinds of anxiety disorders are panic disorders and phobias. If you have a panic disorder you will feel panic and your heart will start beating very fast for no reason. If you have a phobia, you feel very afraid of something that is not dangerous.
What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Disorder marked by chronic, high level of anxiety that is not tied to any specific threat; free floating anxiety. This differs from social anxiety has this anxiety spreads to other areas of life outside of the social sphere. Those suffering from generalized anxiety can be anxious in social situations but not to the extent where it interferes with their daily life or it is not the main focus of their anxiety. This anxiety disorder is more generalized as they worry for the sake of worrying. They do not have a particular thing/object/person they worry about constantly. They worry about what ifs, the future, they worry constantly on realistic and unrealistic things. Their excessive worry about anything and everything can cause them to worry that they worry so much and they believe something is wrong with them. This cycle is common with those with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and this cycle worsens the persons worry. Other common characteristics are: insecure, low opinion of self, negative self talk, being withdrawn, being shy, not open to new experiences, feeling sensory phenomena more strongly than others due to them being extremely sensitive of the environment, high strung, have trouble relaxing, may have trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating.
· Main takeaway: person has feelings of excessive anxiety along with physical symptoms that occur more days than not for 6 months or more
· Ex. A student who has studied for finals and usually does good but still worries excessively
What are anxiety disorders? What is thought to cause them or be related to their progression?
Disorders in which the main symptom is excessive or unrealistic anxiety and fearfulness
- Psychoanalytic explanations point to repressed urges and desires that are trying to come into conscious, creating anxiety that is controlled by the abnormal behavior.
- Behaviorists state that disordered behavior is learned primarily through classical and operant conditioning
- Cognitive Psychologists believe that excessive anxiety comes from illogical, irrational thought processes. (Must be intrusive to be disordered)
- Misinterpret harmless situations as threatening magnification: the tendency to interpret situations as far more dangerous, harmful, or important than they actually are. Focus excessive attention on perceived threats. Selectively recall information that seems threatening
- Biological explanations of anxiety disorders. Concordance rates-when relatives who share more genetic similarity (identical tins) show higher concordance rates than relatives who share less genetic overlap (fraternal twins)