What is anxiety?
- anxiety is an unpleasant emotional state ranging from mild unease to intense
- a certain amount of anxiety, however, is normal and serves to improve
- 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.
Psychophysiological/ Physic Component
- objective measurements that can indicate a person is anxious: heart rate,
respiration, pupil dilation
- Characterized by irritability, lack of concentration, feelings of fear (cognitive)
o Feelings of fear make me feel anxious—more subjective
o Psychological measurement, although subjective, is the most
commonly used in psychopathology: rating of anxiety.
Interpersonal Component/ Observable Component
- all basic emotions come with observable change
- measurable component for anxiety
Anxiety is generated when we perceive to be threatened (be it real or unreal)
Physiological response to fear and anxiety would be similar but the difference is the
- Fear is the reaction of an immediate threat; anxiety is a reaction to a
The perception of threatening stimuli is registered in the frontal lobes of the brain,
after limbic system processing. Generation of fear and anxiety is in the amygdala.
- lesion in amygdala in animals show no fear –tamed
- fMRI shows activation of limbic and basal ganglionic structures in a patient
suffering a panic attack.
- Motivation is generated by hypothalamus
The brain alters the body’s physiology by activating the autonomic nervous system
- sympathetic division creates the anxiety reactions by activating the Visceral
effectors; parasympathetic division has the opposite reaction.
Replace sympathetic response with parasympathetic response—one way to treat
Function of Anxiety and Emotions - part of a management system to coordinate each individual’s multiple plans
and goals under constraints of time and other resources.
o Emotions help to prioritize goals, making you more efficient
- Emotions are part of the biological solution to the problem of how to plan
and to carry out action aimed at satisfying multiple goals in environments
which are not perfectly predictable
o Emotions help to re-prioritize those goals because environment is
These subsequent disorders involve a sense of apprehension about a stimulus that
is threatening: they have all the components of anxiety: psychical, psychological.
1) Generalize Anx