New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Anxiety Disorders Study Guides

by: Alyssa Notetaker

Anxiety Disorders Study Guides PSY 422

Marketplace > University at Buffalo > Psychology > PSY 422 > Anxiety Disorders Study Guides
Alyssa Notetaker

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

Study guides for exams 1-3.
Anxiety Disorders
Dr. Kristin Gainey
Anxeity, Psychology, disorders
75 ?




Popular in Anxiety Disorders

Popular in Psychology

This 9 page Bundle was uploaded by Alyssa Notetaker on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Bundle belongs to PSY 422 at University at Buffalo taught by Dr. Kristin Gainey in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Anxiety Disorders in Psychology at University at Buffalo.


Reviews for Anxiety Disorders Study Guides


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 09/04/16
Anxiety Disorders Exam 1  DSM definition: excessive fear and its behavioral disturbances  The distinction between anxiety and fear o Temporal orientation (fear is an immediate response, anxiety is chronic). o Anxiety is future focused o Fear produces obvious physiological responses, anxiety does not o Anxiety involves cognitive processes. Fear is only a fast escape response  Epidemiological Data o Anxiety disorders are the most common disorders but are the lest treated o 25% of the population meets the criteria of anxiety at some point in their lives o anxiety disorders tend to begin btewen childhood and early adulthood o anxiety disorders tend to be comorbid o women are 60% more likely to experience an anxiety disorder o men are more likely to have antisocial personality and substance abuse disorders. This difference is apparent very early in life and consistent among multiple cultures o depression is the only disorder that is distributed equally in childhood, but is more likely in women during adolescence. o Gender differences are caused by different emotional regulation strategies, different societal experiences and expectancies, symptom manifestations and reports of symptoms o Emotions have an evolutionary value, they provide motivation and facilitate communication and social bonding.  Models of disorders o Medical model: same way we think about physical diseases, present or absent, no in between. Diagnosis is based on physical evidence. Problems: there is too much gray area. Context is crucial to psychological disorders, the medical model does not account for context. Some psychological disorders have no or very little physical manifestations. There can be different causes of a disorder and many things can cause the same disorder. Physical disorders are more concrete in terms of cause and effect. o The DSM takes a medical model approach o RDoc attempts to identify biomarkers for psychopathology and then assigns a disorder. It starts with physical cues and makes diagnosis based on that.  Features of Pathological Anxiety o Inappropriate o Persistent o Abnormal time course o Excessive distress o Impairment of daily functioning  Etiological Models o Genetics account for about 30-50% of the variance in development of an anxiety disorder. People with a predisposition for anxiety have a strong behavioral inhibition system, high levels of neuroticism, high levels of cortisol (hormone produced in response to fear and stress) o Environmental influences account for 50-70% of variance. Parenting styles, non- contingent responses to behavior, caregiver models o Animal Models: experimental neurosis. Anxiety can be caused by unpredictable important events and uncontrollable negative events. o Stress diathesis models: innate vulnerabilities, provides general framework for psychopathology. Negative life events interact with preexisting vulnerabilities. o Meditational Model: the stress leads to the vulnerability with leads to the disorder o Moderational model: stress and vulnerability lead to the disorder. o Triple Vulnerability Model: generalized biological, generalized psychological, and specific psychological vulnerabilities.  Behaviorism o John Watson, BF Skinner (believed we were aware of our own thinking and could observe it) o Behaviorists focus on conditioning and learning because they shape our behavior. o Form of behavior- description o Function- purpose of behavior o Learning styles that can decrease anxiety:  Exposure  Extinction  Habituation  Extinction learning o Does not generalize well to other contexts or stimuli. This makes sense evolutionarily because its more protective to maintain that there is danger, just not in this specific case. o Context includes internal and external factors o To optimize extinction learning  Space it out over time  Conduct the learning in different contexts with different stimuli that are likely to occur in real life  Cognitive bases of Anxiety o There is a greater attention to threatening stimuli among those with anxiety, the opposite of depression is true. o Common attention tests: e stroop (emotionally relevant words), dot probe task (reaction time) o There is no consistent memory bias among people with anxiety, the opposite of depression. o There is an interpretation bias among individuals with anxiety o Expectancy bias (more intentional and explicit) o Maintaining negative outcome expectancies:  Greater accessibility of negative beliefs  Probability overestimation  Catastrophizing  Emotional reasoning (relying too much on emotions)  Confirmation (only finding evidence to support negative views) o Strategies to decrease negative outcome expectancies  Downward social comparison  Positive reappraisal (finding more external and positive interpretations)  Threat devaluation  Optimism  Denial  Biological Bases o Genetic Level  Most evidence suggest a general vulnerability to all anxiety disorders  Genetic vulnerability lowers the threshold for the expression of negavtion emotions and associated behaviors  Possible candidates for specific anxiety genes: the short form of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLRP), mutations of the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) o Molecular Level  Anxiety disorders is associated with high levels of epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine  There are abnormalities in the serotonin system, SSRIs can be used as treatment  Altered dopamine function, this causes anxious people to be more vigilant. Dopamine is the cause of general arousal.  GABA dysregulation: this neurotransmitter counters excitatory neurotransmitters to maintain balance. GABA is not doing its job of inhibiting the exciting feelings. Benzodapines increase the action of GABA  High levels of CRF (corticotropin releasing hormone). This releases cortisol which causes extra arousal. o Physiological Level  Autonomic inflexibility: parasympathetic system shows less variability and reactivity to the environment in anxious people.  The limbic circuit is dysregulated in anxiety  Amygdala: threat detection  Dorsal ACC: autonomic functions, heart rate, blood pressure  Prefrontal Cortex: logic, reasoning  Ventralateral Prefrontal Cortex: extinction learning  Dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex: logic, planning ahead, executive decisions  Doral medio prefrontal cortex: behavior conflict resolution  Olfactory bulb: memory trigger  The key interaction takes place between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex o The VLPC is the only thing that can suppress the amygdalas firing o The PFC is the last part of the brain to develop, so during adolescence the amygdala fires too strongly for the PFC to handle. o The Amygdala is stronger during adolescence, which is why they are more vigilant of threats and will have a stronger fear response.  BDNF genetic vulnerability o BDNF creates proteins that promotes neural survival in the brain and spinal cord. It regulates synaptic plasticity. o The MET mutation is associated with greater anxiety, it interferes with extinction learning by decreasing suppression of amygdala by PFC. o This dysfunctional relationship is also found with people without the MET mutation who have experienced trauma  Readings o Safety Behaviors: maintained by negative reinforcement based more on perceived bodily sensations rather than actual sensations o Attention: phases- orientation, engagement, disengagement, avoidance.  Associative processes vs rule based processes. The prevailing systems depends on the amount of cognitive resources available. The rule based system aides in suppression but activates the associative system.  Evidence is mixed but people tend to have a problem with disengagement. Anxiety Exam 2 Study Guide  Classification and Comorbidity o The DSM is now more reliable but less valid, everyone agrees but it is unknown whether or not it is actually accurate.  DSM 1 & 2  Provided general descriptions but no specific criteria  There were 3 disorders related to anxiety: o Phobic neurosis o Anxious neurosis o Obsessive Compulsive neurosis  DSM 3  Had specific criteria and rules for diagnosis  Intended to increase reliability  Had 12 anxiety disorders very similar to DSM 5 o Types of Classification Systems  Categorical- dichotomous. The DSM is categorical.  Problems: loss if information, arbitrary cut off points, sub threshold symptoms may still be impairing, does not account for co morbidity.  Dimensional- spectrum of severity levels  Alternative: group disorders based on rates of co morbidity which could suggest a common cause. Get rid of categories and focus on underlying dimensions of personality common to several disorders (treatment would be based off which trait levels are abnormal.  Panic Disorder o Criteria:  Recurrent and unexpected panic attacks with at least four of the following (most important/unique)  Heart palpitations  Derealization/depersonalization  Fear of losing control  Fear of dying  An attack must be followed by one month or more of persistent concern of having an additional attack and/or significant maladaptive change in behavior related to attacks. o Panic attacks are less common in children than adults o Etiological factors:  Learned and false alarms  Anxiety sensitivity  Agoraphobia o Criteria  Situations are feared or avoided because escape is difficult  Fear must be contextually inappropriate  Must be persistent for longer than 6 months  Must cause significant distress or impairment  Marked fear or anxiety about at least 2 of the following situations  Using public transportation  Being in open or enclosed spaces  Standing in line or being in a crowd  Being outside of home alone o Theories behind Agoraphobia  Agoraphobia is an outcome of panic symptoms and is specific to the fight or flight response  Agoraphobia can be an outcome of anxiety about other physical symptoms without a history of panic (this the theory the DSM uses)  Agoraphobia develops in a similar manner to specific phobia rather than panic disorder o Facts  30-50% of people with agoraphobia report panic attacks before agoraphobia  Research shows agoraphobia and panic are separate disorders  Agoraphobia alone is very rare  More women than men have agoraphobia  Panic is treated more successfully than agoraphobia  Agoraphobia has very low rates of spontaneous recovery and is persistent  Specific Phobia o Should not be better accounted for by another disorder o There are 5 types listed in the DSM  Animal  Has an onset in childhood  Disgust sensitivity is higher  Natural environment (storms, water, heights)  More common in the elderly  Blood injection injury (needles and invasive procedures)  This is the most unique phobia because there is a very clear physical response (dysphasic response and vasovagal syncope)  Begins in childhood and is evenly distributed between men and women  Disgust sensitivity is higher  Situational (airplanes, elevators)  Has a later age of onset  The fear of panic is more prominent  Other (choking, vomiting) o Facts  Specific phobia has an 11% lifetime prevalence  It is rarely the primary reason for seeking treatment  The mean age of onset is 10  Its less prevalent in Asians and Hispanics  Has to do with disgust sensitivity  Disgust sensitivity is associated with increased parasympathetic activity  It can be generalized or specific  Generalized Anxiety Disorder o Behavioral Genetics  Heritability is studied using twins because they share 100% of genes  The variance of a trait can be divided up into 3 sources:  A: additive factors  C: common/shared environment  E: unique environment  Problems with twin studies  Its based off the assumption that people mate randomly, but they actually tend to gravitate towards partners with similar disorders  It is also assumed that both monozygotic and dizygotic twins are raised in equal environments, but people tend to magnify the differences between identical twins  Twin studies don’t consider gene and gene interactions or gene and environment interactions o Criteria  Excessive anxiety or worry occurring more days than not for at least 6 months about a number of different events  Must be associated with at least 3 of the following:  Restless/on edge  Fatigued  Difficulty concentrating  Irritability  Muscle tension  Sleep disturbance  Should not be diagnosed if symptoms are better accounted for by a mood disorder o History  Use to be a residual disorder  Had very low inter-rater reliability  There are now 6 somatic symptoms o Facts  There is a very strong overlap with depression  65% of people with GAD also have depression  70-90% of those with depression or dysthymia also meet criteria for GAD  Often occurs with irritable bowel syndrome  9% lifetime prevalence  Mean age of onset is 30 but most feel they have had it all their lives  Low treatment success rate o The Characteristics of Pathological Worry  Focus on minor events and personal inadequacies  Excessive and uncontrollable  Meta-worry o Distinction from obsessions  More egosyntonic (people believe its normal)  Resisted less  Verbal/linguistic o Distinction from rumination  Worry focuses more on the future  Worry has more broad content o Intolerance of uncertainty (trait)  Elevated in those with GAD  Can be targeted by exposure therapy and decreased successfully  Social Anxiety Disorder o People with SA fear they will act out in a way or show anxiety symptoms and will be negatively evaluated o Subtypes:  Performance only anxiety is restricted to speaking/performing in public. This does not apply to those who only or also have interaction anxiety. Panic is more common in this type, they are more likely to have had a traumatic conditioning experience prior to symptoms, comorbid depression is less common, and there is a better prognosis.  Generalized subtype, but it’s not really a distinct type. o Characteristics  Most prevalent anxiety disorder (13% lifetime prevalence)  Mean age of onset is 13  Comorbid depression is common  50% of people seek treatment after 15-20 years of symptoms  50% of people experience remission without treatment  There is often no triggering event  People with SA have high behavioral inhibition and low positive emotionality o Bivalent Fear of Evaluation Model  Can be a fear of negative or positive evaluation. These fears serve evolutionary purposes involving social rank  Reading Journals o Brown, T.A., & Barlow: proposed a dimensional classification system that used severity, positive affect, avoidance, social evaluation, past trauma among others as the important dimensions. o Richter et al.: anxious apprehension and acute panic are separate things (aka, are panic attacks and anxiety are different). o Coelho and Wallis: Acrophobia has a more physical cause than mental characterized by more visual field dependence errors and poor postural stability. These things should be addressed in therapy rather than only targeting the physiological causes of anxiety. o Llera and Newman: People with GAD are sensitive to changes in emotionality and use worry as a coping mechanism to reduce the stress caused by major shifts. Worrying helps them maintain steady emotions. o Heerey and Kring: Social anxiety can be seen in both verbal and nonverbal symptoms. People with SA tend to speak less, engage in more self-talk, seek reassurance, they fail to match partner smiles, and often initiate the fidgeting of their social partners. People with SA use self-talk as a way to monitor themselves and make sure they will not be negatively evaluated. However, partners find this annoying and will rate them more negatively, which will in turn cause them to engage more in self talk to monitor themselves more closely and avoid future negative evaluation. Exam 3 Study Guide  Exposure Therapy: The Gold Standard o Client engages with a feared stimulus for a prolonged period of time and repeatedly. o Focuses on factors that maintain the disorder o About 70% of clients recover o Therapy costs less than medication and has more long term benefits o Problems with exposure  Its rarely used by clinicians  Therapists have mistaken beliefs that clients will drop out, that exposure will make symptoms  worse, or that patients won’t like it o Emotional Processing Theory: fear structures can be modified and replaced with new ones. Old beliefs  will be extinguished and replaced by exposure. The goal of exposure is habituation.  o Inhibition learning Theory: the key of overcoming anxiety is learning it is tolerable. Explicitly define  expectancies and then test them. The goal of the exposure is to keep the fear high and learn that its  tolerable.  o Context: fear learning is generalized, safety learning is context specific. To prevent reinstatement of fear  you can use safety signals, perform extinction in multiple contexts, and do imaginal exposures. o Stages:  Functional assessment  Collecting data on factors that cause and maintain anxiety  Antecedents: things that trigger anxiety.   Consequents: responses to anxiety, safety behaviors and signals  Self­monitoring  Psychoeducation  Rationale for exposure  Developing fear hierarchy (SUDS)  Conduct exposures  Cognitive Therapy o Dysfunctional cognitive structures result in biased information processing and increased anxiety  symptoms o Cognitive restructuring: challenge automatic thoughts and replace them with rational thoughts to  restructure schemas o Steps:  Identify automatic thoughts  Identify cognitive distortions  Rational disputation of automatic thoughts  Development of rational alternatives  Track thoughts in daily life  Test out thoughts in behavioral experiments o Cognitive distortions:  Probability overestimation  Catastrophizing  Emotional reasoning  Dichotomous thinking  Selective abstraction  Personalization  Labeling  Overgeneralizations o Modification of cognitive biases: change attentional and interpretive biases towards negative stimuli.  Decreases in biases should decrease anxiety.    Differences from regular CBT  Aims to directly change underlying cognitive processes  Does not rely on insight or awareness  Does not focus on responses to thoughts  Shorter duration o Attentional Control Training:  The goal is to have more flexible control over attention  Move attention away from anxious thoughts  Practiced when not anxious so it won’t be used as avoidance  Mindfulness and Acceptance Therapies o Acceptance: Allowing internal experiences without trying to change them o Mindfulness: Paying attention to internal processes. Tending to experience in a more open and objective  way.  o Differences between ACT and CBT:  ACT focuses on context not content. The assumption is that people are struggling against the  experiences and that’s what causes symptoms.   CBT focuses on content of thoughts and symptoms  ACT focuses on experiential learning instead of didactic   ACT’s goal is psychological flexibility  Defusion: seeing thoughts as separate events from us. An observer’s perspective.   Committed Action: behavioral activation. Remove barriers and pursue actions corresponding with values o Techniques for ACT  Metaphors  Deliteralization  Experiential exercises  Functional analysis  Exposures  Treatment Outcomes and Research o Moderator: variable that can change how well therapy works o Efficacy: details of the therapy o Designs  Randomized controlled trials (for efficacy)  Quasi experimental (for effectiveness)   Process outcome: select a process and find out how it relates to the outcome  Case studies o Moderators of CBT  Homework adherence  Familial levels of expressed emotion  Severity of disorder  Comorbid disorders  Neuroticism  Demographics o Factors in dropout  Low motivation  Low treatment credibility  Poor therapeutic alliance  Patient preferences for different treatments  


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

75 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Jim McGreen Ohio University

"Knowing I can count on the Elite Notetaker in my class allows me to focus on what the professor is saying instead of just scribbling notes the whole time and falling behind."

Amaris Trozzo George Washington University

"I made $350 in just two days after posting my first study guide."

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.