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Anxiety Disorders Mechanisms

What are the mechanisms involved in anxiety?

Three main models provide an understanding of pathological anxiety:
psychoanalytic models,
behavioral and cognitive
and biological.

All these explanations are complementary.

In a very simplified way, psychoanalysis, Freud considered anxiety as the result of a conflict between unconscious sexual or aggressive desires and the threat they pose to the superego.

According to behavioral theories, anxiety is a learned emotional response triggered against certain stimuli, likely to generalize to other situations or be learned by imitation (emotional response observed in relatives).

According to a cognitive approach, anxious subjects tend to overestimate the threatening nature of the situation and to underestimate their ability to cope.

Finally, advances in neurobiology can consider that some people have a particular biological vulnerability vis-a-vis the anxiety involving three individuals neurotransmitters: norepinephrine, serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Genetic studies also show that there is a "genetic predisposition" to promote the emergence of anxiety disorders. For example, with regard to panic disorder, nearly half of patients have a relative also affected by this disorder.

What we recognize that it is an anxiety disorder?

First recall that it is important not considered any manifestation anxiety as a disease and not have proved too easily resort to unnecessary medication. Emotions, positive or negative, are essential to the balance and the psychological construction!

Do not confuse the anxiety response with a fear response.
Anxiety is a response to a threat and imagined imprecise when it suggests, that may involve personal psychological conflicts. For example, an amorous encounter can be experienced as a source of anxiety without the lover (to) is particularly terrifying (e)!

In contrast, fear is a physiological response to an external threat, recognized and clearly identified.

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