Anxiety Disorders Essay, Research Paper
During stressful or threatning situations, some may feel anxious and tense. Feelings of this type are normal in response to stress. Anxiety by definition is a state of apprehension, tension, and worry. An anxiety disorder is characterized by strong anxiety or by maladaptive behavior that is intended to relieve someone from the pressure. This includes generalized anxieties and panic disorders as well as phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
A person who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder lives each day in a state of high tension. This person may feel vaguely uneasy or nervous most of the time and tends to overreact even to mild stresses. The most common discomforts that a person would complain about are inability to relax, disturbed sleep, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and a fast heart rate. Other discomforts are when the individual continually worries about potential problems and has problems in concentration or decision-making. If a decision has been made, it will lead to further worries. For example, he/she might say Have I seen all possible consequences? or Will disaster result? .
Panic attacks are symptoms of generalized anxiety. A panic attack is an episode of severe and overwhelming apprehension of terror. While experiencing a panic attack the individual might feel that something horrible is going to happen. During this episode one might feel heart palpitations, shortness of breath, perspiration, muscle tremors, faintness, and nausea. A panic attack is severe enough to let a person think that he/she will actually die at that very traumatizing moment! In some cases people who experience these panic disorders may have no clue of the reason of why they are frightened. This type of anxiety is sometimes known as known as free-floating due to the fact that it is not stimulated by a certain event. Rather, it occurs in a variety of situations.
A phobia is another type of anxiety disorder. Fobia (pronounced fo-vee-AH ) in Greek means fear . Fears in this type of disorder are rather more specific than anxieties. Someone who responds fearfully to a particular situation or stimulus in which most people do not consider particularly dangerous is said to have a phobia. Phobic individuals usually feels that their fear is irrational but still feels anxiety that can be eased only by avoiding the feared object or situation. Common fears are heights, insects, and snakes. These were examples of simple phobias. However, we cannot strictly identify these as disorders since they do not deal with a person s daily life. A phobic disorder may be when a woman is afraid to go inside an elevator because she fears enclosed spaces, or when a man does not go to a theater because he is afraid of large crowds. These are known as social phobias. People with this type of phobia feel extremely insecure in social situations and have an exaggerated fear of embarrassing themselves. They fear that they wil