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Definition: A group of disorders that are characterised by irrational and unrealistic fear and feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety. Background: Anxiety disorders are very common. Anxiety disorders all include physiological arousal (changes in heart rate, muscle tension, dizziness and respiration), feelings of tension, tremor, shaking and intense apprehension with no reason. The are several basic types of anxiety disorder: agoraphobia, simple phobias, social phobias, generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Further Reading:
American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of psychiatric disorders. (4th ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.
Carson, R. C., Butcher, J. N., & Coleman, J. C. (1988). Abnormal psychology and modern life. (8th ed.). Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company.
Related Terms: Generalized anxiety disorder
Self-Instructional Resources: Take a 2-item self-test over this concept.
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