Psychological Disorder

Psychological Disorder

Psychological disorder is a behavioral or mental pattern or abnormality that results to suffering or an impaired ability to function in normal life. The disorder is not developmentally or socially normative. Anxiety disorder is one of the categories of mental disorders.

Anxiety disorder is a dangerous mental illness. There are a number of diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorder, which include unwarranted anxiety and fear persistently occurring for at least a minimum of six months and about a couple of cases. Remaining in this condition, an individual finds it hard to control his/her anxiety, which is characterized by the following symptoms: parched mouth, nausea, panic, and feeling of fear and sleep deprivation, unsteadiness and inattentiveness. For children, at least one symptom has to be present. A feeling of anxiety or other physical signs cause substantial distress and impairment in most significant areas of an individual’s functioning. However, it should be noted that the anxiety does not occur solely during a mood disorder. There are several categories of anxiety disorder that include social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, as well as specific phobias and a generalized anxiety disorder.

The general prevalence of anxiety disorder in 2004 was 10.5% a year before the assessment and 16.6% in lifespan before assessment. (Rapee, 2012) Individual occurrence of the disorder varied in terms of gender, but females had a higher prevalence rate than males. Moreover, the disease prevails in older adults as compared to young people in the US. Additionally, it should be noted that the disorder is one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting a large population. According to the medical data, the disease is curable, but only a third part of the diagnosed individuals receive treatment. (Ravindran, & Stein, 2010) What is more, people suffering from anxiety disorder are often treated from depression while the real problem remains unaddressed. The problem affects one in eight children and if untreated can result to poor performance in school. It also may co-occur with other psychological problems such as eating disorder. Risk factors are additional aspects that may trigger the development of the illness. One of them is a personality type. Persons with a negative attitude and reactive temperament are more likely to suffer from the disorder. Genetics is another risk factor as it may happen in one family. Lastly, gender factor may also play a decisive role in the development of the condition. Women are more often diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder. An interesting fact is that persons suffering from anxiety disorder are more likely to go to the hospital for any reason, thus being more prone to hospitalization due to their mental state being revealed.

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Factors of Anxiety Disorder

  • Brain chemistry.

People with a high level of particular neurotransmitters stand a high chance of suffering from anxiety disorder. When the neurotransmitters fail to work properly breaking down the communication network, brain starts to react inappropriately.

  • Medical factors.

Anxiety can result from either stress or critical medical illness. It may be caused as a result of  side effects from using medications or can either be a sign of medical illness or blood clot in the system.

  • External factors.

The environmental factors may include stress from work, school, financial status, natural calamity, relationships or even deficiency of oxygen in high altitudes.

  • Substance use and abuse.

Typically, anxiety can arise from the intoxication by illegal drugs such as amphetamines. It can also occur as a result of withdrawing from unlawful drugs.

The research conducted to determine the key factors that contribute to the development of the condition involved patients who had previously suffered from the illness and healthy persons. The result of the study showed that the majority of people who were suffering from the disorder, at one point in time, have been treated from a severe medical condition. (Rapee, 2012)

Theoretical Perspectives

  • A cognitive perspective.

Protagonists believe that mental disorders are caused by the by dysfunctional way of thinking. The presence of elementary illogical hypotheses makes people act in the incorrect ways.

  • The humanistic approach.

Theorists suggest that anxiety disorder occurs when people stop viewing themselves in a fair and acceptive manner. The lack of “unconditional positive regard” in childhood results to severe self-standard known as conditions of value. The intimidating self-opinions break through and lead to anxiety.

  • The psychodynamic perspective.

Children get anxious rather often thus using ego-protective mechanism to control the condition. Some children experience predominantly great levels of anxiety that result to the development of GAD. Severe anxiety develops when a child faces grave danger.

  • The socio cultural perspective.

Generalized disorder is likely to occur in those individuals who are facing social conditions that are dangerous. Poverty is a leading social factor that leads to the development of GAD: the higher the levels of poverty, the greater the vulnerability. Crime rate and unemployment may also trigger mental problems.

Treatment of Anxiety Disorder

According to Ravindran and Stein (2010), therapy is the most effective method of treating anxiety disorder. It is highly recommendable because it is able to cope with more the visible signs of the illness. Therapy guides a person to understand the underlying cause of anxiety and helps one to learn how to overcome it. The most common types of therapy treatment are cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy. During the exposure therapy, a patient is put in a controlled environment and is slowly exposed to conditions that cause anxiety. The purpose of the exposure is to desensitize patients to triggering situations the reaction to them is being eliminated. Thereafter, the patient has less anxiety.

However, other therapeutic methods may be also applied. A therapist may use more than one approach to treating a patient with anxiety disorder. Techniques such as relaxation and breathing are often used to decrease the symptoms the disorder. In addition, some patients prefer inpatient treatment in residential treatment centers, which offer them a conducive environment without interactions. Panic anxiety is effectively treated using drugs. Antidepressant drug is used to counter anxiety by stabilizing the activity of neurotransmitters. A possible problem in this approach is that clients may attribute medical improvement to the drugs instead of their inner resources.  Another disadvantage of this method is that relapses are likely to occur if patients discontinue taking the medication.

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Theoretical Perspective

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is based on the theory that the disorder is caused by the persistent perception of the world as an unsafe place, occasioning from a process of maladaptive and routine relations among perceptive behavioral and mental response system. Patients are advised to observe any change in their anxiety levels and study interactive patterns of mental activity, as well as any external factors that may activate these responses. Patients are advised to intervene as soon as possible using coping responses learnt. Therefore,  therapy in the treatment of the anxiety disorder is one of the most effective approaches because it was proved to be the most effective (Ravindran, Stein, 2010). In addition, numerous Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) were done to evaluate the IUM based treatment for anxiety disorder in a person. The result was in support of medical efficacy. These results were matched to the metacognitive treatment, and no dissimilarity was found between metacognitive and IUM treatment.

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