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Anxiety Disorders Module 48. Psychological Disorders. Anxiety Disorders Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder Phobias Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders Explaining Anxiety Disorders. Anxiety Disorders. Feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety.

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psychological disorders
Psychological Disorders

Anxiety Disorders

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
  • Explaining Anxiety Disorders
anxiety disorders
Anxiety Disorders

Feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety.

  • Generalized anxiety disorders (GAD)
  • Phobias
  • Panic disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders
generalized anxiety disorder gad
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Persistent and uncontrollable tenseness and apprehension.


2. Autonomic arousal.

3. Unable to identify or avoid the cause of their feelings.

panic disorder
Panic Disorder

Minute-long episodes of intense dread which may include feelings of terror, chest pains, choking or other frightening sensations.


Anxiety is a component of both disorders. More in panic disorder, making people avoid situations that cause it.


Marked by a persistent and irrational fear of an object or situation that disrupts behavior.

kinds of phobias
Kinds of Phobias


Phobia of open places.


Phobia of heights.


Phobia of closed spaces.


Phobia of blood.

obsessive compulsive disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Persistence of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and urge to engage in senseless rituals (compulsions) that cause distress.

brain imaging
Brain Imaging

PET Scan of brain of person with Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD). High metabolic activity (red) in frontal lobe areas involved with directing attention.

Brain image of an OCD

post traumatic stress disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Four or more weeks of the following symptoms constitute post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Haunting memories.

2. Nightmares.

3. Social withdrawal.

4. Jumpy anxiety.

5. Sleep problems.

Bettmann/ Corbis

resilience to ptsd
Resilience to PTSD

Only about 10% of women and 20% of men react to traumatic situations and develop PTSD.

Holocaust survivors have shown remarkable resilience against traumatic situations.

All major religions of the world suggest surviving a trauma leads to growth of the individual.

explaining anxiety disorders
Explaining Anxiety Disorders

Freud suggested that we repress our painful intolerable, ideas, feelings and thoughts resulting in anxiety.

the learning perspective
The Learning Perspective

Learning theorists suggest that fear conditioning leads to anxiety.

This anxiety then gets associated with other objects or events (stimulus generalization) and gets reinforced.

John Coletti/ Stock, Boston

the learning perspective14
The Learning Perspective

Fear responses, investigators believe, are inculcated through observational learning. Young monkeys develop fear when they watch other monkeys fear snakes.

the biological perspective
The Biological Perspective

Natural Selection has led our ancestors to learn to fear snakes, spiders, and other animals. So fear preserves the species.

Twins studies suggest that our genes may be partly responsible for developing fears and anxiety. Twins are more likely to share phobias.

the biological perspective19
The Biological Perspective


Generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and even OCD is linked with brain circuits like the anterior cingulate cortex.

S. Ursu, V.A. Stenger, M.K. Shear, M.R. Jones, & C.S. Carter (2003). Overactive action

monitoring in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychological Science, 14, 347-353.

Anterior Cingulate Cortex

of an OCD patient.