Essay on Anxiety Disorder And Anxiety Disorders

1072 Words Oct 28th, 2016 5 Pages
As the most prevalent class of disorders, anxiety impacts individuals in myriad manners, physiologically and cognitively. Specifically, anxiety disorder has been implicated in autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction, such that there is an over-activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) responsible for the “fight-or-flight” reaction to threat as well as an under-activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) responsible for the “rest-and-digest” function of restoring the body to resting state (Nardelli et al., 2015; Roth et al., 2008; Shina et al., 2008; Thayer, Friedman, & Borkovec, 1996). Further, dysfunction of the ANS in anxiety disorder has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality (Cohen & Benjamin, 2006; Dienstbier, 1989). Cognitively, most individuals with anxiety disorder have developed an attention bias towards threat stimuli, or a threat bias (Bar-Haim, Lamy, Pergamin, Bakersman-Kranenburg, & Van Ijzendoorn, 2007; Cisler & Koster, 2010). With a threat bias, individuals gravitate toward and are captivated by threat stimuli as these individuals generally have difficulty disengaging from threat as well (Cisler & Koster, 2010). However, it has been shown that not all individuals with anxiety develop a threat bias; others may develop a form of threat avoidance, and these individuals actively avoid threat stimuli (Mogg & Bradley, 2016). Due to the life-time severity of anxiety disorder, it is crucial to develop an…

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