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Abnormal Psychology Essay

Abnormal Psychology Essay


Psychological disorders are a part of abnormal behavior which scientists have yet been able to completely comprehend nor understand. However, they have discovered that anxiety plays an key role in the onset, and continued existence, of these disorders. With continued study and research, scientists have been able to classify different disorders in separate, distinct categories which makes it easier to treat and hopefully understand what the underlying causes of these disorders truly are; eventually leading to a cure.

The first major classification of these disorders are the Anxiety Disorders which are “characterized by high levels of anxiety accompanied by patterns of ineffective, maladaptive behavior” (Smith 570). These disorders were once commonly referred to as neuroses, but that term is not used as frequently. These common disorders are classified into four different types, the first being Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Here the person “feels anxious and apprehensive, has a sense of impending disaster, and believes he is falling apart or losing control”(570). This disorder is sometimes difficult to diagnosis due to the fact that its symptoms closely resemble depression and other disorders.

The second Anxiety Disorder is Panic Disorder which is “marked by the occurrence of panic attacks - sudden, severe states of anxiety so extreme that the individual is unable to function effectively for a time period that can range from minutes to hours”(571). People are diagnosed with this disorder when they have at least three of these attacks in a period of three weeks along with some of the physiological symptoms during the attack.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, the third disorder, is “characterized by persistent, uncontrollable thoughts and repetitive, unavoidable, ritualistic acts that accomplish no practical end”(571). The most common obsessions are ones which deal with dirt, germs, disasters, and death.

The final disorder are Phobic disorders which are “irrational fears of some object or situation that is accompanied by avoidance behavior”(572). They are classified into two separate groups - simple phobias, the fear of one specific thing; or complex phobia, the fear of numerous things usually accompanied by another disorder.

A separate classification of psychological disorders are the Somatoform Disorders which involve complaints and symptoms involving the patients physical condition, but have no cause. For the most part the symptoms that these patients experience are not under their conscious control.

The first disorder, Somatization Disorder (also known as hysteria),...

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Category:   Psychology

Length:   4 pages (856 words)

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