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Lecture 6

PSYB32H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety Disorder

Course Code
Konstantine Zakzanis

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Lecture 6
Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety Disorders
Social Anxiety Disorder
Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Special Guest: Chris Rodrigues:
Anxiety Disorders share a great deal of commonalities with the various kinds of symptoms that can manifest
depending on what the anxiety disorder is; there is nothing unique or specific amongst them because there is
a great deal of overlap
As a group, most common psychological disorder
Two distinguishing components:
- these two components act like a loop where one feeds into the other and it reinforces the other
and then it exasperates the other and reinforces the other in a continuous loop
- Anxiety is very much future-focused
o Physiological
The physiological component is the heightened level of arousal and physiological
E.g., higher hear rate, shortness of breath, dry mouth
o Cognitive
The cognitive component is the subjective perception of the anxious arousal and
the associated cognitive processes
E.g., worry and rumination
Generally speaking: Anxiety is future focused: on things that could happen. Because many of the
things that people worry about actually never happen, anxiety and worry can be reinforced by the
avoidance of feared outcomes and possible experiences that never happen
Beck Anxiety Inventory
Similar symptoms across disorders
Unexpectedness is important when it comes to defining anxiety
Anxiety disorders are diagnosed when subjectively experienced feelings of anxiety are clearly
o But remember our principles of what defines abnormality and consider:
It is normal and perhaps even adaptive to experience some degree of anxiety
eg. avoiding danger
Anxiety can motivate us
eg. study more for an exam
Situational factors are important to consider
eg. a bunch of people on the roller coaster
What tends to distinguish chronically anxious people is their propensity to perceive threat and to be
concerned and worried when there is no objective threat, or the situation is ambiguous
o When something is unexpected to cause that anxious state is when we start becoming
suspicious as to whether the patient might meet the criteria for one of the anxiety disorders
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