Developmental Psychology - Anxiety (When Does Adaptive Anxiety Become Pathological?)

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Developmental Psychology - Anxiety

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Developmental Psychology - Anxiety (When Does Adaptive Anxiety Become Pathological?)
  1. What is Anxiety?
    1. Subjective state of being, that has a diverse set of symptoms. Causes the sufferer to 'worry'. It is a normal part of experience and it varies in intensity.
    2. Anxiety Vs. Fear
      1. Physiological manifestations are similar
        1. Fear is a primary emotion, anxiety is a secondary emotion
          1. Fear is a response to danger in the present. Anxiety is anticipation of potential threat in the future.
          2. What is Good About Anxiety?
            1. Survival: - protective mechanism, - escaping dangerous situations,. Achievement: Anxiety increases performance due to the fear of failure.
            2. Anxiety as a Marker of Complex Cognition
              1. Evolution from transient fears of animals to elaborate fears of supernatural phenomenon signals progression in the capability for abstract thought.
              2. Anxiety as a Problem
                1. - Duration - Intensity - Frequency - Causes Distress - Interferes with Functioning
                2. Physiological Symptoms
                  1. - Restlessness - Shortness of breath - Sweaty palms - Increased heart rate - Chest pain - Muscle tension - Trembling - Nausea - ‘Butterflies’ - Exaggerated startle response
                    1. - Chills - Numbness - Sleep disturbance - Fatigue - Lethargy - Poor appetite - Hot Flush - Dizziness - Dry throat - Lump in the throat
                    2. Behavioral Symptoms
                      1. - Avoidance - Escape - Withdrawal - Apprehension - Self-destructive behaviors - Becoming over attached - Distress - Depressive behaviors
                      2. Cognitive Symptoms
                        1. - Negative self-appraisals - Negative automatic thoughts - Negative interpretations - Negatives biases - Inability concentrating - Problems with memory - Low self-esteem
                        2. Anxiety Disorders in DSM-5
                          1. Generaliszed Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks, Social Phobia, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Selective Mutism, Specific Phobia, Agrophobia
                            1. - Both in Children & Adults: some more common in children, dissimilarities described, symptoms differ, duration differs. - Many develop during childhood. - Culture differences play major role.
                            2. Prevalence : Most common problem during childhood and adolescence, approx. 13/100 children aged between 9-17 suffer. Girls affected more than boys. Often overlaps with other anxiety disorders eg. depression. * one of the earliest forms = separation anxiety
                              1. Co-Morbidities
                                1. - Anxiety is symptomatic of many psychiatric disorders: - The presence of anxiety does not automatically indicate an anxiety disorder. - Most of the addictive disorders have some anxious features. - Extreme fear of fatness is an eating disorder, not a phobia.
                                  1. - Co-occurring disorders: - Two separate disorders can and may be present at the same time.
                                    1. Anxiety and Depression commonly occur together and have a 50% comorbidity rate.
                                    2. ANXIETY DISORDER: Separation - Developmentally inappropriate and excessive fear of being separated from an attachment figure
                                      1. Characterized by: - excessive distress when separation is anticipated or occurs, - worry about well-being or death of attachment figure, - reluctance to go out for fear of separation, - refusal to be alone at home, - refusal to sleep alone, - repeated nightmares involving theme of separation.
                                        1. Lasts at least 4 wks in children & 6 mnts. in adults. Causes clinically significant distress. Not better explained bt another mental disorder.
                                          1. Differentiating from the norm: normal stranger anxiety = 8-10mnts, SAD is more intense, persistent and unrealistic concern - unrealistic worried about the harm that might occur to the attachment figure. *cultural context to be considered *varying development course
                                            1. School refusal = most common symptom of SAD (75%), only 1/3 of kids who refuse to attend school do so because of SAD, often occurs after a period of legitimate absence.
                                              1. Prevalence of SAD: - affects children, adults and elderly (difference based on duration). Occurrence prior to age 6 = early onset. - 1/25 children suffer. - Higher in girls (community), equal in clinical samples. CO-MORBIDITIES: Children - GAD and specific phobias. Adults - GAD, social phobias, OCD, depression, agoraphobia, personality disorders.
                                          2. Etiological Perspectives: exact cause unknown, genetics & biology, learning (behavior), attachment/parental practices, cognition.
                                            1. Genetics: environmental influences add to genetic influences. 80% of mothers who have children with SAD have a history of anxiety disorders. Shared genetic diathesis between SAD and adult onset panic attacks (Roberson-Nay et al., 2012)
                                              1. 'Separation Anxiety Hypothesis' - link with panic disorder (Kossowsky et al, 2013). - SAD reflects general susceptibility to future psychopathology. - Maybe genuine co-morbidity. - SAD & panic disorder = elements of non-specific vulnerability. - Shared genetic diathesis.
                                                1. Attachment: Bowlby’s “Anxious Attachment” - Arises from disturbances in primary bonds. - Typical separation anxiety symptoms are characteristic of early development. - Older children show symptoms as a form of ‘regression’. - Adults manifest in theform of panic disorder / agoraphobia (see ‘Separation Anxiety Hypothesis’)
                                                  1. Parental Practices & Pathology: - Parent overprotectiveness, overcontrolling, reinforcement of avoidance, authoritarian / critical parenting practices, parental intrusiveness. - Parental stress or psychopathology: Parental anxiety influences child’s genetic tendencies and parental reactions / style. - Maternal depression and family dysfunction leads to over parentification
                                                    1. RESEARCH: Perez-Olivas, Stevenson, & Hadwin (2008); Wood (2007); UC Berkeley, 2008: Low Cortisol Levels Found in Kids Whose Mothers Show Signs of Depression (Genetics)
                                                    2. Cognitive: Beck (1976) - Information Processing Biases. - Attention to threat-relevant material. - Bias towards recalling negative memories. - Misinterpretation of information. - Over-estimating the likelihood of negative events
                                                    3. Interpretation Bias
                                                      1. Children with SAD interpreted ambiguous situations negatively and had lower estimations of competency to cope (Bogels & Zigterman, 2000)
                                                        1. Content-specificity: children with SAD report more negative thoughts on separation themes compared to GAD
                                                          1. Children with SAD gaze significantly more at separating pictures than non-anxious controls after a period of 1s (In-Albon, Kossowsky & Schneider, 2010)
                                                          2. Treatment
                                                            1. - Anxiety disorders are one of the most treatable psychiatric conditions. - Early intervention is vital. - Research has identified what works and what doesn’t . - Therapy is unique to the patient and symptoms, and also the therapist
                                                              1. Other Forms of Therapy: Family therapy, Art therapy, Mindfulness, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Pharmacological, Systematic Desensitisation, Relaxation
                                                              2. Cognitive Behavioual Therapy (CBT): Participant modelling, exposure and reinforced practice. Cognitive restructuring (adapted based on age): - Challenging cognitive distortions, - Identify key fearful thoughts or beliefs that trigger those thoughts, - Taught techniques for generating less-anxiety provoking thoughts, - Rehearsal, - Thought records
                                                                1. Play Therapy: - Particularly useful for younger children. - Uses toys, puppets, games and art for expression of feelings. - Helps child understand reasons behind feelings. - Therapist provides alternative ways of coping with the feelings
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