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Investigative Process

Uploaded by Missy on Apr 14, 2004

Mental Health: A Look Into Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety and fear are often thought of as the same thing, but are actually somewhat different. Fear is thought of as a response to the presence or imminence of danger. Anxiety, on the other hand, can be looked at as a response that was created through learning or life experiences. Anxiety disorders are very common and may eventually turn every day tasks into unbearable and overwhelming activities. General symptoms of anxiety disorders can include the feeling of panic, uncontrollably obsessive thoughts, sweating or chills, and muscle tension, among others. If untreated, people with anxiety disorders tend to get progressively worse. Anxiety disorders consist of panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia), phobias (social phobia, agoraphobia, and specific phobia), obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. The anxiety disorders are also the most common, or frequently occurring, mental disorders.
Panic disorders may seem like normal occurrences, but they can occur at inappropriate times and be considered, in some cases, extreme. Mainly, people with panic disorders experience a phenomenon called panic attacks. Key symptoms in people with panic attacks include the fear of losing control, a pounding heart, nausea, dizziness, feelings of unreality, numbness, and even shortness of breath, triggered by a stressful situation. The trigger causing panic attacks differs, depending on the person. Many people who have experienced panic attacks compare the feeling to a heart attack and report intense feelings of fear, along with the urge to escape from their location. Panic attacks can also leave a person feeling extremely anxious, constantly awaiting the next attack to occur, and often reach their peak within 10 minutes or less. There are three types of panic attacks; unexpected, situationally bound, and situationally predisposed. Unexpected attacks have no specific trigger, occurring without notice. Situationally bound panic attacks, on the other hand, take place when a person is exposed or has thoughts about being exposed to a certain trigger. For instance, exposing a person, or them just them thinking about being exposed to something they fear can, in turn, cause a situationally bound panic attack. Situationally predisposed attacks commonly occur when someone is exposed to a trigger but does not necessarily mean that every time exposed, an attack will occur. A person who is scared of flying doesn’t necessarily get scared every time they are on a plane, therefore making this a situationally predisposed panic attack. Also, this...

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Uploaded by:   Missy

Date:   04/14/2004

Category:   Psychology

Length:   9 pages (1,946 words)

Views:   1557

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