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Anxiety disorders (3).docx

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McMaster University
Richard B Day

October 19 , 2012 Psych 2AP3: Abnormal Psychology – Major Disorders Anxiety Disorders (3) Specific Phobia - excessive or unreasonable fear of specific objects or situations - situations avoided, or tolerated with anxiety - fear must cause some kind of dysfunction, or significant distress about having the phobia - phobia subtypes: limited number of things or situations to which people can develop phobias  animals: snakes, rats, mice, insects, spiders, etc. especially common among children and remains reasonably strong throughout adulthood  environment: storms, water, dirt, heights, etc. especially common among children and remains reasonably strong throughout adulthood  blood-injection-injury: invasive medical procedures, does not typically develop as early  situational: enclosed places, bridges, public transport  order of prevalence  some don’t neatly fall into these categories  other: choking, vomiting - 9% annual, 13% lifetime prevalence in U.S. - among most prevalent anxiety disorders - typical onset childhood – young adulthood, may diminish - two most common in all disorders - 1:2 male-female ratio - animal phobias: 9:1 female-male ratio - situational has a smaller female-male ratio Specific Phobia: Etiology - two etiological challenges:  why the narrow range of phobic objects, situations?  Why this specific phobia and not another? - psychodynamic view:  phobic objects = symbols of inner conflict  anxiety-producing unconscious desire  combination of two defense mechanisms:  displacement  reaction formation  reason for specificity of phobias  why there are more females than males in animal phobias  most people have these fears without having any experiences with these objects  symptom s
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