Anxiety disorders are different from normal feelings of fear or anxiety because they are excessive and can impede functioning.
People suffering from anxiety disorders have a more chronic and extreme form of anxiety and develop behaviors that help avert anxious feelings. The type of anxiety disorder that a person experiences can be identified by the type of objects or situations that cause anxiety or avoidance behaviors.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is when a person worries excessively most days of the week for at least six months about many situations and finds it challenging to stop worrying. Some of the symptoms experienced include difficulty concentrating, becoming tired, restless, irritable, sleep problems, and muscle tension.
Panic Disorder means the presence of recurrent panic attacks often followed by a month (or more) where there is apprehension about another attack occurring or avoidance behaviors related to the panic attack. Panic Attacks are a psychological event where there may be heart palpitations, accelerated heart rate, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, chest pain, feelings of choking, numbness, nausea, and dizziness.
Social Anxiety Disorder is intense fear about social situations where there is a possibility of being negatively observed and judged by others lasting for six months or more. The fear is out of proportion to the actual threat.
Anxiety disorders can affect school and work performance and hinder personal relationships and social environment (APA, 2013).
Dr. Stefan Hofmann Interview
Dr. Stefan Hofmann is a professor in the clinical program at Boston University and the Director of the Psychotherapy and Emotion Research Laboratory at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders. Some of Dr. Hofmann’s research questions include: Why are psychological treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, effective for anxiety disorders? What is the mechanism of treatment change, and what are the active ingredients? How can these treatments be improved further? Dr. Hofmann is the Editor in Chief of Cognitive Therapy and Research and is Associate Editor of Clinical Psychological Science. Dr. Hofmann is the co-author of Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach,Essentials of Abnormal Psychology, and Process-Based CBT: The Science and Core Clinical Competencies of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I encourage everyone to check out Dr. Hofmann’s new book, the Anxiety Skills Workbook, which was recently published in April, 2020.
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