Anxiety Disorders Research Paper
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Anxiety Disorders Paper Outline
Thesis: In this paper, there is a discussion on different types of psychological disorders such as schizophrenia that are characterized by fear and apprehension and their treatment options.
- Anxiety disorders are described by intemperate and industrious dread and tension, and by related unsettling influences in conduct.
- Although anxiety disorders are universally experienced by many people across the world, they cause a considerable amount of stress.
- In the US for instance, at least 25%-30% of the population experience the symptoms of anxiety at one point in their lives.
- The discussion that follows includes the different forms of psychological disorders defined by elevated levels of fear and apprehension.
- Specific Phobia
- An individual diagnosed with this condition experiences extreme levels of stress, persistent fear or anxiety about a particular object or situation.
- Sometimes, even when an individual realizes that their fear and anxiety towards a certain object or situation is irrational, they go to extreme lengths to avoid the phobic stimulus.
- According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) at least 91% of Americans are faced with specific phobia annually. Ideally, approximately 12.5% of American adults suffer from specific phobia at some point in their lives.
- Specific Phobia Diagnosis
- The diagnosis of specific phobia is based on thorough clinical and diagnostic guidelines.
- The most common guideline is according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
- On treatment, the best treatment option is exposure therapy although other therapies and medication might be prescribed by a qualified health care professional.
- Specific Phobia Diagnosis
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Social anxiety disorder was commonly referred to as social phobia.
- It is characterized by outrageous and constant dread or nervousness and evasion of social circumstances in which the individual could possibly be assessed adversely by others.
- Social anxiety disorder negatively impacts on the victim’s quality of life. Such individuals have issues in public speaking, initiating conversations, meeting new people, eating in public areas, and in extreme cases going to public restrooms.
- Social Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis
- The most successful treatment approach is through cognitive-behavioral therapy.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy involves engaging on a hands-on and practical approach to problem solving.
- Social Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis
- Panic Disorder
- Panic attacks refers to the sudden and intense moments of fear and may include palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness or a feeling that something bad will happen.
- Most of the times, panic attacks starts in adulthood after the age of twenty but children can also experience moments of panic attack characterized by fearful spells.
- At least 2-3% of Americans experience panic attacks but it is more common among women than men.
- Panic Disorder Diagnosis
- According to research, victims of panic disorder can be treated using medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of these two approaches.
- The medications of panic disorder fall under two categories, anti-depressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Celexa) and anti-anxiety drugs (Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Valium).
- In psychotherapy, a specialist helps a client work through unresolved issues and feelings or to develop healthy ways of thinking and behaving.
- Panic Disorder Diagnosis
Anxiety disorders are a common mental health problem all across the world. It ranges from mild to serious and adversely impairs the victim’s quality of life.
Sample Research Paper on Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are a common condition among many people all over the world. It is a biological and philosophical function of instinct, reason, personality, and culture. Usually, anxiety is a crucial part of what makes us humans since individuals tend to become anxious over things that they care most about such as health, ability to feed families, and the ability to be connected to and be valued by others. Anxiety helps people wake up in the morning prepared to step out of their comfort zones and work towards their goals. However, sometimes the anxiety gets out of hand leading to anxiety disorders. This paper present a discussion on different types of psychological disorders that are characterized by fear and apprehension and their treatment options.
Intemperate and industrious dread and tension describe anxiety disorders. Although many people across the world universally experience these conditions, they cause a considerable amount of stress. In the United States for instance, about 25%-30% of the population experiences the symptoms of anxiety at one point in their lives (ADDA, 2018). Statistics additionally show that women are the most affected. It is crucial to highlight that anxiety disorders are the most widely recognized class of mental issues and are comorbid with each other and other mental problems. The discussion that follows includes the different forms of psychological disorders defined by elevated levels of fear and apprehension.
The word phobia is a Greek word meaning fear. An individual diagnosed with this condition experiences extreme levels of stress, persistent fear, or anxiety about a particular object or situation. The situation or object could be such things as animals, height, enclosed spaces, or flying. The fear is followed by an intense desire to avoid the situation or the object. Sometimes, even when an individual realizes that their fear and anxiety towards a particular object or situation is irrational, they go to extreme lengths to avoid the phobic stimulus (Waters, Bradley, & Mogg, 2014). In essence, this fear and anxiety towards a phobic stimulus can disrupt the life of a victim and interfere with their health. For example, an individual may reject a job that requires constant flying although it may be well-paying. This would adversely affect their career.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), at least 91% of Americans are faced with specific phobias annually. Ideally, approximately 12.5% of American adults have specific phobia at some point in their lives (Choy, Fyer, & Lipsitz, 2007). The degree of severity ranges from mild to severe with the levels being determined using the Sheehan Disability Scale that characterizes people suffering from the condition as severely impaired, moderately impaired, or mildly impaired. A majority of people fall into the category of mildly impaired. Among adolescents, specific phobia is higher among females compared to males.
The diagnosis of specific phobia is based on thorough clinical and diagnostic guidelines. The most common guideline is according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). On treatment, the best treatment option is exposure therapy although other therapies and medication might be prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). In this context, exposure therapy involves changing an individual’s response to a particular situation or object that they fear through gradual and repeated exposure to the source of the phobia and the related thoughts, sensations, and feelings. Nonetheless, doctors do not focus so much on identifying the cause of the phobia than on how to treat the avoidance behavior that develops over time. The primary objective of treatment, in this case, is to improve the patient’s quality of life to ensure that they are not limited by their fears. When a patient learns how to control and manage their feelings and emotions over a particular object or situation, they realize that their levels of fear and anxiety are tremendously reduced.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) was commonly referred to as social phobia. It is characterized by extreme and constant dread or nervousness and evasion of social circumstances in which the affected individual could be assessed adversely by others. Similar to specific phobia, SAD is common in the U.S., with at least 12% of the country’s population experiencing the condition during their lifetime (Nagata, 2015). Usually, individuals suffering from this disorder have the fear that they may act in an embarrassing or humiliating manner such as appearing foolish leading to rejection by offending others.
SAD negatively impacts the victim’s quality of life. Such individuals have challenges with public speaking, initiating conversations, meeting new people, eating in public places, and in extreme cases, going to public restrooms. Although it is normal to feel anxious in a public speaking forum, people suffering from SAD experience extreme fear, anxiety and avoidance that may highly affect their quality of life (Nagata, 2015). According to research, adults who suffer from SAD attain low educational grades and later on low life earnings or poor performance at work.
It is also noteworthy that SAD is considered the third largest mental health care problem in the world. An individual who suffers from this condition should seek medical help for therapy and treatment. The most successful treatment approach is through cognitive-behavioral therapy (Hofmann & Otto, 2017). According to studies, after a successful period of going through this therapy, people with the disorder are transformed and can live their lives without being controlled by fear and anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy in this context involves engaging a hands-on and practical approach to problem-solving. The primary purpose of the therapy is to change people’s patterns of thinking or behavior that makes their lives difficult. For children, the CBT approach that has been largely used is the ‘Coping Cat” model while for adolescents, the most well-known approach is the ‘CAT Project.’ Leigh and Clark (2018) explain that these CBT treatments are usually conducted in sixteen sessions and incorporate a combination of graded exposure, strategies of anxiety management, and psycho-education.
Another treatment option may be psychological interventions or therapies designed to specifically address social anxiety disorder. Among the first of these therapies to be tested was cognitive behavioral group therapy (CBGT). It involves putting the patient through psycho-education and skills training first before giving him/her tasks of exposure. Skills training here involves strategies of anxiety management and social skills (Leigh & Clark, 2018). CBT may also work in the form of family therapy whereby family is involved in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Ehrenreich, Santucci and Weiner (2008) note that a typical family therapy includes all the essential CBT elements but also brings on board interpersonal therapy elements and family involvement.
Panic disorder is a common mental health problem all over the world involving recurrent and unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks in this respect refer to sudden and intense moments of fear and may include palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling that something terrible will happen (Roy-Byrne, 2016). Most of the times, panic attacks start in adulthood after the age of twenty, but children can also experience moments of panic attacks characterized by fearful spells. According to Roy-Byrne (2016), at least 2-3% of Americans suffer from panic attacks, but the disorder is more common among women than men.
Panic Disorder profoundly disrupts the ordinary life of the victim. It may lead to people missing work, numerous doctor appointments, and staying away from situations that might trigger a panic attack. Sometimes, the case is made worse when an individual also has agoraphobia. Agoraphobia refers to a situation whereby an individual avoids a place because they feel that it does not offer an immediate escape route such as a shopping mall or other enclosed places such as movie theatres. In such situations, the victim goes through troubling moments and their world intensely reduces since they are always on the lookout for the next panic attack. Sometimes such people develop routes and territories that they use and this makes it become difficult for them to travel beyond their safety zones without suffering from a severe panic attack.
Fortunately, panic disorder is a treatable condition. According to research, people living with this disorder can be treated using medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of these two approaches (Roy-Byrne, 2016). The medications for panic disorder fall under two categories: anti-depressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Celexa) and anti-anxiety drugs (Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Valium) (Roy-Byrne, 2016). These medications reduce the severity of the attacks and a general feeling of anxiety. In psychotherapy, a specialist helps a client work through unresolved issues and feelings or develop healthy ways of thinking and behaving. Psychotherapy comprises of approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, desensitization, and panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Anxiety disorders are a common mental health problem across the world. The problem ranges from mild to severe conditions and adversely impairs the victim’s quality of life. In social phobia, the victim experiences difficulties speaking in public, initiating conversations, meeting new people, eating in public places, and going to public restrooms. On specific phobia, victims are afraid of specific objects or situations that can limit their lives. However, no matter the negative impact of the conditions on the life of individuals, these type of phobias are treatable through different approaches such as medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. These treatment options are based on the idea that if a client can come into terms with their emotional turmoil, they can overcome their issues and panic disorder.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®). American Psychiatric Pub.
Choy, Y., Fyer, A. J., & Lipsitz, J. D. (2007). Treatment of specific phobia in adults. Clinical Psychology Review, 27(3), 266-286.
Ehrenreich, J. T., Santucci, L. C., & Weiner, C. L. (2008). Separation Anxiety Disorder in youth: Phenomenology, assessment, and treatment. Psicologia Conductual, 16(3), 389-412.
Hofmann, S. G., & Otto, M. W. (2017). Cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder: Evidence-based and disorder-specific treatment techniques. New York, NY: Routledge.
Leigh, E., & Clark, D. M. (2018). Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder in adolescents and improving treatment outcomes: Applying the cognitive model of Clark and Wells (1995). Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 21(3), 388-414.
Nagata, T. (2015). Social anxiety disorder. Seishin shinkeigaku zasshi= Psychiatria et neurologic Japonica, 117(4), 283-291.
Roy-Byrne, P. P. (2016). “Panic disorder in adults: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, course, assessment, and diagnosis”. UpToDate. Retrieved May 29, 2020 from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/panic-disorder-in-adults-epidemiology-pathogenesis-clinical-manifestations-course-assessment-and-diagnosis
Waters, A. M., Bradley, B. P., & Mogg, K. (2014). Biased attention to threat in pediatric anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, specific phobia, separation anxiety disorder) as a function of ‘distress’ versus ‘fear’ diagnostic categorization. Psychological Medicine, 44(3), 607-616.