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Chapter 5

Psychology 2030A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Jeffrey Alan Gray, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone, Panic Attack

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Doug Hazlewood

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Psychology 2030B
Chapter 5: Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety, Fear, and Panic
anxiety: a negative mood state characterized by bodily symptoms of physical tension,
and apprehension about the future. (we fear that we cannot predict or control events)
anxiety can be represented as a sense of unease, a set of behaviours that show
this sense of unease, or a physiological response originating in the brain and
reflected in elevated heart rate or increased muscle tension.
anxiety has been studied with animals as it is difficult to study it in humans (easier
just to observe animalʼs behaviour) - problem with this is that anxiety in animals
doesnʼt explain the whole experience of anxiety with humans.
anxiety is very closely related to depression
anxiety is normal for every individual, but in moderate amounts. (anxiety
sometimes pushes us to perform better)
what makes the situation worse is when we know we have nothing to be anxious
about, yet we still remain anxious.
anxiety is a future-oriented mood state.
fear: emotion of an immediate alarm reaction to present danger or life-threatening
just like anxiety, fear is good for us in moderate amounts.
fear protects us from overreacting physiologically through the autonomic nervous
system (increased heart rate and blood pressure) - fight or flight response.
much evidence shows that fear and anxiety differ psychologically and physiologically.
fear is concerned with the danger of events happening presently, while anxiety is a
future-oriented mood state (concerned with the future events)
panic: sudden overwhelming fright or terror
panic attack: abrupt experience of intense fear or acute discomfort, accompanied
by physical symptoms that include heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of
breath, and dizziness.
3 types of panic attacks described by the DSM-IV:
situationally bound (cued): being exposed to certain situations (i.e. exposed to
heights) can trigger a sense of panic.
unexpected (uncued): unexpected trigger of panic
situationally predisposed: can either be described as cued or noncued (in
one can be more likely exposed to a sense of panic, which is also
avoidable, in situations they have had a panic attack to.
unexpected and situationally predisposed attacks are more important in panic
situationally bound attacks are more important in social phobias and specific
Causes of Anxiety, Fear, and Panic: (made up of multiple factors)
Biological Contributions
may not be the most influential factor, but genes have a weak contribution to
being vulnerable to anxiety.
tendency to panic can also run in families
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