Feb/19/2004, Thursday CHANAPS
Notes From Reading
CHAPTER 14: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS
2. Disorders may not be mutually exclusive, many who have one develop
B. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
1. GAD – marked by a chronic, high level of anxiety that is not tied to any
specific threat. i.e. “free floating anxiety”.
2. Worry about minor matters related to family, finances, work, personal illness.
3. Physical symptoms: trembling, muscle tension, diarrhea, dizziness, heart
C. Phobic Disorder
1. Phobic. Disorder – marked by a persistent and irrational fear of an object or
situation that presents no realistic danger.
a. Phobias may be common, but people with Phobic Disorders have fears
which seriously interfere with everyday behavior.
2. Common Phobias incl. acrophobia (heights), claustrophobia, brontophobia
(storms), hydrophobia, and various insect/animal phobias.
3. People usually realize fears are irrational but are unable to remain calm when
confronted by a phobic object (or even imaging it).
D. Panic Disorder and Agorophobia
1. Panic Disorder – characterized by recurrent attacks of overwhelming anxiety
that usually occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. Accompanied by physical
a. Victim becomes apprehensive, refusing to leave house.
2. Agorophobia – fear of going out to public places – complication of Panic
a. Typically affects females.
E. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
1. OCD – marked by persistent, uncontrollable intrusions of unwanted thoughts
(obsessing), and urges to engage in senseless rituals (compulsions)
2. Obsessions often center on inflicting harm on others, personal failure, suicide,
3. Victims may feel as though they’ve lost control of their mind.
4. Typically arises in early adulthood.
F. Etiology of Anxiety Disorders
1. Biological Factors
a. Concordance Rate – indicates the percentage of twin pairs or other pairs
of relations that exhibit the same disorders.
b. Twin studies suggest low genetic disposition to anxiety disorders.
c. Anxiety Sensitivity may make people vulnerable to anxiety disorders.
i.e. Some people are highly sensitive to internal physiological symptoms
of anxiety and prone to overreact with fear when they experience
d. Link between anxiety disorders and neurochemical activity in the brain.
2. Conditioning and Learning
a. Many anxiety response may be acquired through classical conditioning
and maintained through operant conditioning.