Psych 211 – Anxiety, Autism and ADHD
Anxiety – affective state with characteristics of cognitive expectations of certain danger. An internal
physiological preparedness to deal with the threat, and an external physiological sign of anxiety. An
emotional sense of dread, fear, panic or worry. Behaviours directed at escaping or avoiding the source
of anxiety. Anxiety is adaptive if it motivates effective behaviours, but if the behavioural component
becomes maladaptive, it is referred to as anxiety disorder.
1) Generalized Anxiety Disorder – occur in the absence of any stimulus. Irrational worry about everyday
2) Phobia anxiety disorder – triggered by exposure to particular objects or situations.
3) Panic disorders - rapid onset attacks of extreme fear and severe stress.
4) Obsessive-compulsive disorders – frequently recurring, uncontrollable anxiety producing compulions
5) Post traumatic stress disorder – ongoing emotional reaction to an extreme physcological trauma.
DO NOT NEED TO KNOW STRESS DISORDERS
Suffer from episodes of acute and umremitting terror characterised by recurring panic attacks. Universal
symptoms. Shortness of breath, perspiration, irregularities of heartbeat, dizziness and faintness. The
victim thinks he/she is going to die. Between panic attacks, the person will experience anticipatory
anxiety, the fear that another panic attack will strike.
Agoraphobia is the fear of open spaces preventing the person from leaving their home.
What causes the physical symptoms?
Lactic acid (caused by muscular activity and breathing air with elevated levels of C02)
Yohimbe (an alpha 2 adrenergic receptor and agonist) and caffeine. Has a direct effect on the nervous
People with panic disorder have a family history of anxiety disorders.
Clinically used benzodiazepines such as diazepam and are full agonists of this receptor. Forms part of the
GABAa receptor complex. Increases the sensitivity of the GABA binding site and has an anxiogenic effect.
(Effects depend on to where the benzo binds on the GABA)
Treatment of flumazenil produces panic in patients with panic disorder, NOT controls.
They are psychoactive drugs – it causes changes in perception, mood and consciousness. Long term use
causes physical dependence (addictive). Benzodiazepines are also used to treat the panic caused by
hallucionogen intoxication. Can also be prescribed as sleep-inducing, muscle relaxants and sedatives.
(selective reuptake inhibitiors) SSRI’s are very effective in treating attacks.
Efficacy is related to the 5-HT1A receptor. The drug has no effect on mice with targeted mutation
against 5-HT1A receptor. In mice, turning off the receptor gene in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex
during embryological development leads to anxious behaviour during adulthood. If the gene is turned off during adulthood, there if no effect on anxious behaviour. Presence of serotonin could have different
effects at different times during an animals life.
Obessive Compulsive Disorder
Patients suffer from obsessive distressing, intrusive thoughts th