Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression


Generalized Anxiety

generalAnxiety is a milder form of fear, and as you know, fear is an essential emotion that protects us from danger. Without fear, our risk taking behavior increases, would often end with catastrophic results.

‘Second to the fear of death, many individuals have a fear of public speaking. Indeed, the absence of that fear (or the over-compensation for the fear of public speaking) can make some of our best lecturers, comedians or debaters.

The fear of eating, talking and other social activities is referred to as a Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia, and the inability to speak in some situations but not in others is referred to as Selective Mutism.

Panic Disorder is an abrupt surge in several anxiety symptoms with a range of upsetting physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, feelings of detachment and/or feelings that things have become unreal.

Agoraphia is an anxiety disorder with which many are familiar. It involves the fear of being away from home, being in a crowd alone, being in public transportation, being in open spaces or confining spaces. The fear is based partially upon the concern that there will be no one there to help them, and the fear is out of proportion to the actual danger.

There are a host of anxiety disorders referred to as Specific Phobias. The variety of specific phobias is seemingly endless, and what differentes them from brief moments of anxiety is that the specific phobia dictates the behavior of the individual and limits their choices, activities and quite often the quality of relationships and career.

Although the list of specific phobias is quite large, they fall into general categories of Animal Phobias (spiders, dogs etc), Natural Environment Phobias (heights, storms, water). Blood-injection-injury Phobias (needles, injections, surgeries, and Situational Phobias (airplanes, elevators, etc).

However, there is even a greater concern which does erode the very quality of life:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder – excessive worry which the individual cannot control, apprehension, negative expectation, and the individual is restless, easily fatigued, irritable, tense, cannot relax, cannot concentrate and sleeps poorly.

An individual with Generalized Anxiety Disorder presents a specific problem when injured. Since they anticipate the worst and are difficult to reassure, the injury makes them miserably uncomfortable and simply erodes the quality of life.


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