Anxiety Disorders and Somatoform Disorders

Anxiety Disorders and Somatoform Disorders Marion Weeks Jenks High School Anxiety Disorders in general Diagnosis occurs when overwhelming anxiety disrupts social or occupational functioning or produces significant distress. Manifestations of anxiety Cognitive:

Thought processes range from generalized worry to overwhelming fear and often focus on various possibilities of impending doom. Anxiety Disorders in general Behavioral: The avoidance of an anxiety-provoking situation may be practiced. Example, persons may be unwilling to leave home. Somatic:

Numerous physiological complaints are experienced due to activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Examples: Stomach aches Headaches Shakiness Specific Anxiety Disorders Panic Disorder Recurrent and unexpected panic attacks are severe

Involve feelings of terror and physiological involvement Attacks lead to concern about future attacks or losing control. Example Pounding heart Difficulty breathing May result in individual being fearful of having a panic attack in public or of leaving home.

Panic Disorder Symptom s Minute-long episodes of intense dread which may include feelings of terror, chest pains, choking, or other frightening sensations. Anxiety is a component of both disorders. It occurs more in the panic disorder, making people avoid situations that cause it. 5

Specific Anxiety Disorders Generalized anxiety disorder Characterized by persistent high levels of anxiety and excessive worry with symptoms that present for at least six months. Physiological responses are similar to, although not as severe as, those experienced in panic disorder, but they are more persistent. Specific Anxiety Disorders Phobia

A persistent, irrational, unrealistic fear of specific objects or situations. Exposure to a feared stimulus produces intense fear or panic. Anxiety dissipates when the phobic situation is not being confronted. Phobia Marked by a persistent and irrational fear of an object or situation that disrupts

behavior. 8 Specific Anxiety Disorders Three subcategories include: Simple phobias Claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces) Arachnophobia(spiders) Agoraphobia The irrational fear of open spaces Leads to a fear of leaving home or other safe havens.

Social phobia Social situations Public speaking Specific Anxiety Disorders Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) Involves two patterns Obsessions Thoughts, images, or impulses that recur or persist despite a persons efforts to suppress them

Compulsions Repetitive, purposeful, but undesired acts performed in a ritualized manner in response to an obsession Persons with the disorder acknowledge the senselessness of their behavior; however, when anxiety rises, the ritualized behavior to relieve the tension cannot be resisted. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Persistence of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and urges to engage in senseless rituals (compulsions) that cause distress. 11 Brain Imaging A PET scan of the brain of a person with ObsessiveCompulsive Disorder (OCD). High metabolic activity

(red) in the frontal lobe areas are involved with directing attention. Brain image of an OCD 12 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Four or more weeks of the following symptoms constitute post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): 1. 2.

3. Bettmann/ Corbis Haunting memories Nightmares Social withdrawal 4. Jumpy anxiety 5. Sleep problems 13

Resilience to PTSD Only about 10% of women and 20% of men react to traumatic situations and develop PTSD. Holocaust survivors show remarkable resilience against traumatic situations. All major religions of the world suggest that surviving a trauma leads to the growth of an individual. 14 Explaining anxiety disorders

The learning perspective Generalized anxiety has been linked with a classical conditioning of fear and the attendant stimulus. Avoidance relieves fear through negative reinforcement. The cognitive perspective Observational learning can produce fear which results in anxiety. Example If a parent fears dogs, the child may learn this fear

through observation. Explaining anxiety disorders The biological perspective Fears that represent age-old threats, such as heights or spiders, may have contributed to our survival and have an evolutionary basis. Some people are genetically predisposed to fears and high anxiety. Disorders tend to run in families. The biopsychosocial perspective View anxiety as having a biological involvement and learning component, both of which

influenced by culture. Somatoform disorders These disorders are characterized by complaints of physical symptoms that have no organic or physiological explanation they are psychologically based. Symptoms are not considered voluntary or under conscious control. Specific somatoform disorders

Somatization disorder Characterized by multiple physical complaints with no organic explanation and an onset before age 30. Conversion disorder Characterized by specific physical complaint. Examples Paralysis of legs Blindness Patients strongly believe there is impairment, but may show less distress than with a real loss.

Specific somatoform disorders Hypochondriasis Characterized by persistent preoccupation with ones health and physical condition, despite the fact that genuine symptoms of a disorder are lacking. Factitious Disorder Munchausens Syndrome Patients feign physical or emotional illness in order to assume the role as patient Patients have added sugar to urine samples,

used sandpaper, chemicals, or heat to create rashes and lesions, drank animal blood so they could vomit blood, swallowed corrosive chemicals, overdosed on psychoactive drugs Disease is difficult to diagnose and often requires being caught in the act. Explaining somatoform disorders These disorders now constitute only 5% of all disorders treated. Decreasing incidence seems linked to our growing understanding of physiological and psychological

disorders. The behavioral perspective Suggests that avoidance behavior Becoming ill to avoid or reduce anxiety-arousing stress Reinforced in two ways: Anxiety is reduced There are interpersonal gains in terms of sympathy and support.

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