Abnormal Psychology Chapter 5 Textbook Notes

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PSYC 110
Dr.Steven Del Chiaro

Chapter 5 Textbook Notes Anxiety Disorders 1. The Complexity of Anxiety Disorders 2. Anxiety, Fear, and Panic: Some Definitions a. Anxiety i. Negative mood state characterized by bodily symptoms of physical tension and by apprehension about the future b. Fear i. Immediate alarm reaction to danger ii. protects us by activating a massive response from the autonomic nervous system iii. sense of terror, motivates us to escape (flee) or, possibly, to attack (fight). c. Panic Attack i. an abrupt experience of intense fear or acute discomfort, accompanied by physical symptoms that usually include heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, and, possibly, dizziness 1. situationally bound (cued) panic attack a. Having a panic attack in certain situations 2. unexpected (uncued) panic attacks a. Have no idea when and where your panic attack will happen 3. situationally predisposed panic attack a. more likely (but not always) have an attack at the same place as you did before b. fight or flight system 3. An Integrated Model a. triple vulnerability theory i. a theory of the development of anxiety and related disorders by integrating factors b. generalized biological vulnerability i. a tendency to be uptight or high-strung might be inherited ii. diathesis c. generalized psychological vulnerability. i. might also grow up believing the world is dangerous and out of control and you might not be able to cope when things go wrong based on your early experiences d. specific psychological vulnerability i. you learn from early experience, such as being taught by your parents, that some situations or objects are fraught with danger (even if they really aren’t) ii. Example: if one of your parents is afraid of dogs, or being evaluated negatively by others, if this is something your parents worry about e. Learned alarms i. individual associates the panic attack with internal or external cues (conditioning is one form of learning) 4. Comorbidity of Anxiety Disorders a. Comorbidity i. the co-occurrence of two or more disorders in a single individual 5. Generalized Anxiety Disorder a. Clinical description i. generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) 1. Worrying nonstop about every little thing 2. Gets in the way of being productive 3. Present symptoms for more than 6 months ii. panic disorder with agoraphobia (PDA), 1. which individuals experience severe, unexpected panic attacks; they may think they’re dying or otherwise losing control 2. Since they never know when their panic attacks come, they develop agoraphobia. a. fear and avoidance of situations in which they would feel unsafe in the event of a panic attack or symptoms. b. Never leave home and go out in public 3. interoceptive avoidance a. avoidance of internal physical sensations b. removing yourself from situations or activities that might produce the physiological arousal that somehow resembles the beginnings of a panic attack 4. agoraphobia without a history of panic disorder, a. individuals will have only one or two severe symptoms, such as dizziness, rather than the minimum of four required to be called a panic attack 6. Sleeping a. Sleep Terror i. children awake imagining that something is chasing them around the room. ii. Common for them to scream and get out of bed as if something were after them. iii. Do not wake up and have no memory of the event in the morning. b. isolated sleep paralysis i. “the witch is riding you” ii. Occurs during the transitional state between sleep and waking, when a person is either falling asleep or waking up, but mostly when waking up. iii. Individual is unable to move and experiences a surge of terror that resembles a panic attack; occasionally, there are also vivid hallucinations. 7. Causes a. Strong evidence indicates that agoraphobia develops after a person has unexpected panic attacks b. seems to be related most strongly to biological and psychological factors and their interaction. c. Learned Alarms i. cues become associated with a number of different internal and external stimuli through a learning process, ii. Example: harmless exercise and being in a movie theater 8. anxiety sensitivity index a. measure one aspect of this psychological vulnerability b. One of the best tests of anxiety sensitivity as a vulnerability to experience panic attacks 9. Treatment a. Medication i. anxiety and panic are separate
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