Behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of: phobias, OCD and depression

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  • Created by: Magdalene
  • Created on: 25-04-16 09:58


Behavioral characteristics:

Panic when in presence of phobic stimulus, e.g. crying/screaming

Avoids phobic stimulus which makes it hard to go about everyday life

Endurance (stays in the presence of stimuli) but experiences high levels of anxiety

Emotional characteritics:

Fear= short term. Anxiety= long term and stops the person from having any positive emotions

Emotional responses are unreasonable as phobic stimulus is usually harmless

Cognitive characteristics:

Selective attention to the phobic stimulus so find it hard to focus when it is present

Irrational beliefs created in relation to phobic stimuli putting pressure on person to perform well

Cognitive distortions make the person see the phobic stimulus in a different e.g. ugly/scary/evil

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Behavioral characteristics:

Activity levels drop (opposite for psychomotor agitation where they struggle to relax)

Disruption to sleep and eating behaviour: may be increase or decreased

Agression= verbally Self-harm= pshysical agression directed to self

Emotional characteritics:

Lowered mood where person feel worthless and empty

Anger usually aimed at others or at self

Lowered self-esteem (extreme= self-loathing i.e hating themselves)

Cognitive characteristics:

Poor concentration and poor decision making

Sufferers focus on the negative aspects of a situation/memory and ignore the positives

Think in black and white- tend to see everything as an absolute disaster (exaggeration) 

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Behavioral characteristics:

Compulsions are repetitive and reduce anxiety but only in short term

Sufferers avoid situations that trigger their anxiety

Emotional characteritics:

People have  unpleasant/frightening obsessions asd experince high levels of anxiety when in presence of 

Accompany depression

Guilt and disgust

Cognitive characteristics:

Obessive thoughts

Cognitive strategies to deal with obsessions

Insight into excessive anxiety

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Definitions of phobias, depressions and OCD

Phobia= an irrational fear of an object or situation

Depression= a mental disorder of characterised by low mood and low energy levels

OCD= a condition characterised by obsessions and/or compulsive behaviour

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Behavioral, emotional and cognitive characteristic

Behavioural: ways in which people act

Emotional: ways in which people feel

Cogntive: what the sufferer thinks/beliveves

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