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Lecture 4

PSY315H5 Lecture 4: Lecture 4 - Anxiety Disorders.docx

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Judy Plantinga

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Lecture 4:
Anxiety Disorders
January 26, 2015
6:07 PM
Anxiety can be debilitated
Slightly different forms of anxiety
All include a heightened physiological arousal
In general anxiety isn't psychopathological
There's a reason why we have it
There's a reason for anxiety
oHeightened physiological arousal to some psychological stimulus
Anxiety is an emotion; there's a purpose for emotions
There's a reason why we have anxiety it's built in/hard wired
It motivates you
What is anxiety
Anxiety is an unpleasant emotional state ranging from mild unease to intense fear
A certain amount of anxiety, however, is normal and serves to improve performance
Anxiety rouses you to action. It gears you up to face a threatening situation. It makes
you study harder for that exam, and keeps you on your toes when you're making a
speech. In general, it helps you cope
Basic emotions: Happiness, Sadness, Surprise, Disgust, Anxiety, Fear
All emotions are called affective state they seem hardwired, there's parts in our brain
that register and display them
Negative Affect Anxiety
oRefer to anxiety psychology as a negative affect because we don't like it, but it is
Anxiety creates motivation
Anxiety is a motivation that navigates you towards a stimuli or away from a stimuli
Anxiety and fear are actually related, they're really the same emotion, but the stimuli are
A certain amount of anxiety is normal and serves to improve performance, that's why you
have anxiety, it makes you get better at doing something
A certain level of anxiety is normal, it serves you well and helps you get better at
When anxiety prevents you from coping, that's psychopathology too much is bad
Anxiety rouses you to action, prioritizes tasks
You're more efficient with emotion, it helps you to prioritize tasks, the emotions you feel
about certain cognitive processes helps you to prioritize tasks
Anxiety has three major components
1. Firstly there's a psychophysiological (physical) component which examines
symptoms such as palpitations (racing heart) and sweating, and pupil dilation
oThis isn't reliable as we have the same response to beer and cake as we do to
having a test
2. Secondly, there's a psychological component characterized by heritability, lack
of concentration and feelings of fear
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oOnly way to measure psychological component is to ask a person self-report
Having someone report their feelings
3. Finally, there may be an interpersonal component featuring an inclination to cling
to the people for reassurance (behavioural - observational)
oSomeone can be frozen, they can shake, they can be wide eyed; this is
somewhat subjective
oPlenty of people who are nervous and they won't show it
Objectively measurable reaction when you become anxious
We use the psychological component most often, even mental health professionals will
use psychological; it's easy and somewhat subjective
We can get a general idea of how anxious that person is
State-Trait Anxiety Scale is the best way to measure anxiety
oGet a good measurement of how anxious that person is, 20 questions on a Likert
Anxiety is generated when we perceive to be threatened (be it real or unreal)
oWaiting in line for a roller coaster
oOften you'd avoid a threat if you anticipate one (i.e. if a mid-term is coming up,
you avoid the threat by studying)
oAnxiety is generated when we perceive to be threatened
Fear considered a closely related emotion, is a response to a direct threat (such as
riding a roller coaster)
oFight or flight response is released due to Fear
oIf you are consistently, constantly having an increased heart rate, that's a bad
thing ware and tear (too much use)
You're constantly feeling threatened, and your body is constantly on high
Research is showing cancer due to an increased feeling of threat
medical response as well not just psychological
The perception of threatening stimuli is registered in the frontal lobes of the brain, after
limbic system processing
Amygdala generates anxiety, fear and aggression (under the limbic system)
oPerception of the stimulus comes from the frontal lobes; generated in the limbic
system (amygdala)
oDestroying the amygdala results in Kluver Bucy syndrome
oRemoving the frontal lobe results in Emotionally Laybie doesn't know how to
This functional neuroimaging (fMRI) shows activation of limbic and basal ganglionic
structures in a patient suffering a panic attack
This is a PET image of a patient suffering from social anxiety. The anxiety is focused in
the frontal lobes (midline)
oSomebody suffering from social anxiety
The brain alters the body's physiology by activating the ANS
oSends a message to the PNS, altering the physiology, making the heart beat
harder, increasing respiration, dilating pupils
oCNS Ganglion viscera (the organs)
Changes the function of the organs
All part of the ANS
Sympathetic portion of the nervous system
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