What exactly is An Anxiety Disorder?
In 1980, anxiety disorders were introduced as a distinct group into the third edition associated with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III).
The disorders retained this status in the fourth edition, the DSM-IV, and can include many specific diagnoses, with the exception of anxiety disorders associated with substance abuse and those pertaining to general medical ailments.
Biological, Psychological and TraumaAnxiety disorders don't have one specific cause. Rather, these disorders develop because of a variety of factors, including biological causes, genealogy and family history, psychological issues, and stressful or traumatic life events.
Biological causes of anxiety include difficulties with the regulation of neurotransmitters, the chemicals within the brain that transmit signals between cells. Serotonin, nor-epinephrine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) will be the neurotransmitters involved in anxiety.
Serotonin regulates appetite, sleep, mood, aggression, impulses, body's temperature and pain. Nor-epinephrine is attached to the fight or flight response and regulates sleep, mood and blood pressure. GABA aids in promoting relaxation and sleep, and in controlling over excitation.
Brain-imaging techniques have indicated abnormal activity of specific regions of the mind in people with anxiety disorders. Abnormalities in cerebral blood circulation and metabolism, by way of example, along side frontal, occipital, and temporal lobe anomalies have been present in people identified as having these disorders.
Higher than normal levels of activity within the locus ceruleus and the median raphe nucleus, with a higher quantity of norepinephrine and serotonin neurons respectively appears to be related to the development of panic attacks.
Researchers, however, don't know yet how these abnormalities are connected to anxiety. Lastly, activity in the norepinephrine systems of this body and brain produce physical the signs of anxiety (blushing, perspiring, and experiencing palpitations) and now have been associated with the flashbacks of post traumatic stress disorder.
Family studies, twin studies, and genetic linkage studies have confirmed the role of genetics into the etiology of anxiety disorders. Individuals are very likely to have an anxiety disorder if they have or have experienced a relative with one. Close to 50% of individuals with a panic disorder have one or more relative with the disorder.
Psychological factors that subscribe to the etiology of anxiety disorders are often broken down into the cognitive, behavioral, and psychodynamic theories.
- The cognitive theory emphasizes the role of dangers or threats and an individual’s capacity to cope with them. People who have anxiety disorders often overestimate danger and its own potential consequences.
- The behavioral theory, on the basis of the learning theory, suggests that people acquire fear or anxiety by associating these feelings during stressful or traumatic events with specific cues, such as for example a spot or a sound. Anxiety and stress are learned and felt over and over repeatedly when these cues reoccur. This learned behavior becomes immediate, automatic, and away from conscious control.
- The psychodynamic theory is now considered controversial and states that anxiety results from conflicts between sexual and aggressive urges while the defenses used against these urges.
Finally, stressful or traumatic life events, such as illness, divorce, or any sort of abuse, can cause the introduction of anxiety disorders. These situations have a higher possibility of creating anxiety disorders when biological causes and a family reputation for anxiety can be found.
The seriousness of anxiety disorders can depend on the type of stress or trauma additionally the duration of it.