Abnormal and Clinical Psychology: An Introductory Textbook

By Paul Bennett | Go to book overview

7
Anxiety disorders
Anxiety is a useful emotion. Without it, we are likely to be reckless and engage in dangerous activities that could lead to harm or even death. It therefore has strong survival benefits for both the individual and the species. However, when levels of anxiety become inappropriately high, they stop being a proportionate response to the threats within the environment and become problematic to the individual experiencing them. The anxiety disorders lie at the extreme end of the distribution of anxiety within the population. They fall under the DSM category of neurotic and stress-related disorders. This chapter will focus on four diagnoses within this group: generalized anxiety disorder, simple phobias, panic disorder and obsessivecompulsive disorder. Each represents a differing response to either diffuse or specific causes of anxiety. By the end of the chapter, you should have an understanding of:
The nature and aetiology of each condition from a number of theoretical perspectives
The types of interventions used to treat each disorder
The relative effectiveness of each of these interventions.

Generalized anxiety disorder
The chapter starts by considering the most pervasive anxiety disorder. DSM-IV-TR (APA 2000) defines generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as excessive or ongoing anxiety and worry, occurring on more days than not, over a period of at least six months. In addition:
The person finds it difficult to control the worry.
The anxiety and worry are regularly associated with three or more of the following:
– restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
– being easily fatigued
– difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
– irritability
– muscle tension

-170-

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Abnormal and Clinical Psychology: An Introductory Textbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Part I - Background and Methods 1
  • 1: Introduction 3
  • 2: The Psychological Perspective 29
  • 3: Biological Explanations and Treatments 62
  • 4: Beyond the Individual 86
  • Part II - Specific Issues 111
  • 5: Somatoform Disorders 113
  • 6: Schizophrenia 141
  • 7: Anxiety Disorders 170
  • 8: Mood Disorders 205
  • 9: Trauma-Related Conditions 233
  • 10: Sexual Disorders 262
  • 11: Personality Disorders 289
  • 12: Eating Disorders 318
  • 13: Developmental Disorders 341
  • 14: Neurological Disorders 370
  • 15: Addictions 392
  • Glossary 421
  • References 427
  • Index 485
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