Psychological Disorders

Anxiety Disorder  


Anxiety disorders are those that are characterized by excessive and abnormal fear, worry and anxiety.

A. Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Slight anxiety can actually help you respond to threats and feel motivated to get things done. However, excessive worry and anxiety may indicate an illness known as generalized anxiety disorder. It is a prolonged and exaggerated worry that has few or no specific sources.


1. Excessive worry with no specific source

2. Exaggerated startle reflex

3. Inability to sleep due to worrying

4. Stomach aches

5. Headaches

6. Fatigue

7. Muscle tension

8. Light-headedness

9. Breathlessness

10. Trembling

11. Nausea

12. Excessive sweating

Treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

1. You can try to change your disruptive thinking. The goal is to restructure distorted thoughts and help you change your reactions to stress.

2. Learning new coping skills

3. Relaxation techniques

4. Medications including antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs are often used in combination with therapy.

B. Phobias: An irrational and excessive fear of an object or situation.

Types of Phobias

i.Social phobia-Fear of social situations.

ii.Agoraphobia-Fear of being trapped in an inescapable place or situation.

iii.Specific phobia-Fear of a specific object (such as snakes).

a) The natural environment-fear of lightening, water, storms, etc.

b) Animal-fear of snakes, rodents, spiders, etc.

c) Medical-fear of seeing blood, receiving injections, visiting a doctor, etc.

d) Situational-fear of bridges, leaving the home, driving, etc.


1. Dizziness

2. Breathlessness

3. Nausea

4. A sense of unreality

5. Fear of dying


1. Exposure treatments: You will be exposed to the fear object of fear in order to help you overcome your fear.

2. Flooding: You are confronted by the fear object for an extended length of time without the opportunity to escape.

3. Counter-conditioning:You will be taught a new response to the fear object. Rather that panic in the face of the feared object or situation, you will learn relaxation techniques to replace anxiety and fear.

C. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that occurs "post-trauma" or after being exposed to some kind of traumatic event.


1. Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event

2. Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)

3. Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)

4. Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma

5. Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. heart pounding, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)

6. Difficulty falling or staying asleep

7. Irritability or outbursts of anger

8. Difficulty concentrating

9. Hyper vigilance (on constant "red alert")

10.Feeling jumpy and easily startled


1. Manage your problems by changing how you think and act.

2. Gaining control of your fear and distress by changing the negative way you think about your experience, such as feeling that you are to blame for what happened or fear that it may happen again.

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