PSYC 3140 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Panic Attack, Fear, Neurosis

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Published on 16 Apr 2013
School
York University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3140
CHAPTER 5 Anxiety Disorders
- 3 distinctive components of emotion: physiological, cognitive, and behavioural.
- Physiological component: involves changes in the nervous system resulting in respiratory,
cardiovascular, and muscular changes in the body (heart rate, breathing rate, muscle tone).
- Cognitive component: includes alterations in consciousness (e.g: in attention levels) and specific
thoughts a person may have while experiencing a particular emotion.
- Behavioural responses: consequences of certain emotions. E.g wanting to leave after
experiencing a panic attack.
- The three components of emotional states are highly interrelated, and each affects the other
two.
- Anxiety: an affective state where a person feels threatened by the possible occurrence of a
future negative event. It is a future oriented phenomenon.
- Fear: is a more “primitive” emotion in the sense that it occurs in response to something that is a
real or perceived current threat. Fear is a present oriented phenomenon.
- Fight or flight response: behavioural response that is often triggered by fear and prompts a
person (or organism) to either flee from a dangerous situation or stand and fight.
o Physiological symptoms involved: increased heart rate, muscle tension, and breathing
rate. This reaction is the body’s method of preparing to respond to danger.
- Panic: an extreme fear reaction that is triggered even though there is nothing to be afraid of
(false alarm). It shares the same physiological and behavioural components as fear.
- Anxiety disorders used to be considered as somatoform and dissociative disorders under the
heading of neurosis.
- How Freud looked at anxiety: he said that neurotic anxiety is a signal to the ego that an
unacceptable drive (mainly sexual) is pressing for conscious representation.
o It was thought to occur because defence mechanisms failed to repress painful
memories, impulses or thoughts.
Biological Factors
Genetics :
- Evidence of genetic influence comes from epidemiological studies of families and twins, which
demonstrate that virtually all of the anxiety disorders show at least a moderate level of
concordance within family members.
- Heritabilities range from 30-40 %.
- No firm conclusions can be made about the specific genetic basis of this condition. A number of
studies have provided evidence, but none can sufficiently make any firm conclusions.
Neuroanatomy and Neurotransmitters :
- Neural fear circuit begins with the registry of sensory information and goes through several
areas of the brain.
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Document Summary

3 distinctive components of emotion: physiological, cognitive, and behavioural. Physiological component: involves changes in the nervous system resulting in respiratory, cardiovascular, and muscular changes in the body (heart rate, breathing rate, muscle tone). Cognitive component: includes alterations in consciousness (e. g: in attention levels) and specific thoughts a person may have while experiencing a particular emotion. E. g wanting to leave after experiencing a panic attack. The three components of emotional states are highly interrelated, and each affects the other two. Anxiety: an affective state where a person feels threatened by the possible occurrence of a future negative event. Fear: is a more primitive emotion in the sense that it occurs in response to something that is a real or perceived current threat. This reaction is the body"s method of preparing to respond to danger. Panic: an extreme fear reaction that is triggered even though there is nothing to be afraid of (false alarm).

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