Characteristics of Disorders - Anxiety Disorders (Phobias)

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Anxiety Disorders (Phobias)

Anxiety Disorders give a continuous feeling of fear/anxiety which is disabling and can impose on daily functioning. An example of an axiety disorder includes phobia's. A phobia is a persistent and irrational fear of particular object, situation, place or activity.

The DSM-IV describes specific phobia's as marked and persistent and unreasonable. e.g. if someone has arachnophobia then every account with a spider will cause them anxiety.

Secondly, exposure to phobic stimulus provokes immediate anxiety response e.g. they may get sweaty palms every time they see a spider.

Thirdly, the person recognises the fear as excessive e.g. someone with a fear of spiders have an awareness of it.

Fourthly, the phobic situation is avoided e.g. someone completely avoids any situation with a spider by running away from it.

Fifthly, the phobia disrupts the person's normal life e.g. someone who has a genuine fear of spiders maybe so affected they feel like they can't leave their house. And finally, the phobia has lasted more than 6 months in people under 18 e.g. it's been a persistent fear of spiders which has caused them to be diagnosed with it.

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