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Chapter 15

PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 15: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Panic Attack

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Michael Inzlicht

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Anxiety, Depressive, and Obsessive-Compulsive
Disorder 12/2/2015 11:04:00 PM
Anxiety Disorders:
anxiety disorders category of disorders involving fear or
nervousness that is excessive, irrational, and maladaptive
often occur with other disorders ex. depression or substance abuse
can become highly maladaptive and even crippling
people cope with it by limiting themselves to people/environments
that make them feel safe and secure and have rigid habits to keep
life predictable and under control
o useful techniques for managing the persons fear but can be
stifling to their growth and life experiences
stress response is normal for all mammals to have in terms of fight-
or-flight responses, but our world is full of stress and continuously
activating our stress system over time can cause many stress-
related illnesses
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
o GAD involves frequently elevated levels of anxiety,
generally from the normal challenges and stresses of
everyday life
o difficult for these people to understand their experience and
identify the specific reasons for why their anxious
o often have unstable moods, difficulty concentrating, and have
sleep problems
Panic Disorder
o panic disorder involves occasional episodes of sudden, very
intense fear
o different from GAD because the anxiety occurs in short
segments and can be much more severe
o key feature of this disorder is panic attacks brief period of
extreme anxiety and include a rush of physical activity pair
with frightened thoughts
o sometimes people who develop this develop the fear that the
panic will strike again in a place where they would be unable
to avoid people and can result in agoraphobia results from
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an intense fear of having a panic attack in public; as a result
of this fear, the individual may begin to avoid public settings
and increasingly isolate him/herself
phobia severe irrational fear of a very specific object or situation
specific phobia an intense fear of a specific object, activity, or
organism ex. heights, dogs, needles
o often developed from an unpleasant or frightening experience
Social Phobias
o social anxiety disorder a very strong dear of being judgd by
others or being embarrassed or humiliated in public
o generally leads people to limit their social activity
anxiety disorders tend to be self-perpetuating
o their anxiety leads to more circumstances that further
provoke anxiety
they tend to have people take on self-fulfilling prophecies
avoiding or interrupting the cycle of anxiety is key in its treatment
person must confront rather than avoid the fear and learn to deal
with it in a healthy way
exposure repeatedly and in stages exposed to the object of his
fear so that he can work past his emotional reactions
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
o OCD plagues by unwanted, inappropriate and persistent
thoughts (obsessions) and tend to engage in repetitive almost
ritualistic behaviors (compulsions)
o very common manifestation of OCD being extremely
concerned about germs and washing hands many times a
day, insist on wearing gloves to touch objects, ect
o everyone has unwanted thoughts but these obsessions take
root and last for a LONG time
o OCD generally develops over time ranging from childhood into
early adulthood
o psychologists think that the compulsions are a way for the
person to assert control over their anxiety
Mood Disorders:
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major depression disorder marked by prolonged periods of
sadness, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, social
withdrawal, and cognitive and physical sluggishness
o people with this disorder may be lethargic and sleepy and yet
also experience insomnia as well as changes in appetite
o people in a deep depression can find it impossible to get the
energy to complete even the simplest of tasks like returning a
phone call or email
o personal relationships tend to suffer
bipolar disorder characterized by extreme highs and lows in
mood, motivation, and energy (use to be known as manic
o shares many symptoms with major depression but the big
difference is the manic highs
o mania can take many forms ex. talking excessively fast,
racing thoughts, impulsive decisions
o when people come down from mania they tend to feel
remorse or embarrassment for their rash actions which then
contributes to their swing into depression
o people can experience swings of emotion at very different
rates, some only have manic episodes a few times in their
life, some can have them within a matter of hours
Physiological Aspects of Mood Disorders:
depression affects cognition as well as emotion, makes making
decisions very difficult which contributes to the growing feeling of
helplessness and feeling incapable of doing anything right
pessimistic explanatory style a set of habitual ways of explaining
events to oneself which tend to be dysfunctional
o people with depression develop this type explanatory style
people with depression tend to make internal, stable, and global
o thinking that its their fault and that this situation will persist
which turns to how this negative event impacts overall
o ex. I messed up so bad I’m so stupid. It’s always going to be
like this. I can’t do anything right I mess everything up.
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