Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Victor Omisore
Psychology 254(Behavior Problems and Pers Dis Resources)
Extra credit: 16 points
Original Grade : 95% , intended 110 %
Due date: October 26

Question 1
Discuss the similarities and differences among Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD; aka Social Phobia), and Panic Disorder.
Anxiety disorder including but not limited to Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), Social anxiety Disorder (SAD). and Panic Anxiety Disorder (PAD) are all a group of psychiatric condition. They are defined by excessive worrying, uneasiness, and the fear of what is to come (the future), to the extent that they affect a patient’s social and day to day function.
Although generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) and Panic Disorder are characterized by persistent anxiety that is excessive however in to fully understand the differences and similarities between them, I think it is best to first define them.
Panic disorder can be classified under Anxiety disorder. It is characterized by recurrent panic attacks and generally feels shortness of breath, palpitations, and numbness. A person experiencing panic disorder feels endangered in a situation actually when there is no danger posed in that situation. If a person watches a horror movie he may get into a panic attack due to fear. They usually last for 5-20 minutes. Treatment is available, but avoiding situations which cause fear can help to overcome this problem. the patient may experience reactions such as. Panic attacks Feeling like you’re having a heart attack, Stomach Ache. Fear of having another heart attack Can occur anytime, anywhere which leads to avoiding the place where the panic attack occurred, It can lead to agoraphobia; fear of enclosed space.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive irritation and uncontrollable worries about apprehensive expectations of events. Symptoms may include, the Constant need of approval, Overthinking, Difficulty in concentrating, Feeling restless most of the time, Irritability, Muscle aches. Causes can be genetic or environmental or a combination of both, it can be treated with therapy and medications, It is common in individuals with a history of substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

Social anxiety disorder is the excessive emotional discomfort, fear, or worry about social situations. The individual is worried about being evaluated or scrutinized by other people, and there is a heightened fear of interactions with others.symptoms may include Fear of social situations, Fear of being judged, embarrassed or humiliated, Physical symptoms like shaking, trembling is experienced, Poor social skills, Inability to talk to people, Lack of confidence and self – esteem.
The similarities among this 3 disorder is that the symptoms are rather identical and sometimes intertwined with each other, all of the disorder include the excessive fear of things that aren’t necessarily threats, Excessive worrying, Leads to avoidance, May lead to social isolation, Substance abuse, Trouble sleeping or insomnia, Suicidal thoughts, If left untreated for a long time, it may culminate in major depression,Causes can be genetic or environmental or a combination of both, It can be treated with therapy and medications. So in order to distinguish them you have to look at the situation that causes the anxiety for example a person with a Generalized anxiety disorder has anxiety with basically everything especially the future, while a person with Social anxiety disorder has his/her anxiety in social setting (fear of judgment) which can cause Panic attack.

Question 2
How does cognitive factor affect the onset and maintenance of social phobia (aka social anxiety disorder) and panic disorder?

Like I mentioned in the previous question, Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common, distressing and persistent mental illness. Recent studies have identified a number of psychological factors and or cognitive factor have a significant effect on the beginning (onset) and maintenance of the disorder. Some cognitive factors assume that social apprehension is associated with unrealistic social standards and a deficiency in selecting attainable social goals.
For example if we take a look at cognitive factor such as probability overestimation in individuals with SAD, when confronted with challenging social situations, individuals with SAD shift their attention toward their anxiety, view themselves negatively as a social object, overestimate the negative consequences of a social encounter, believe that they have little control over their emotional response, and view their social skills as inadequate to effectively cope with the social situation. In order to avoid social mishaps, individuals with SAD revert to maladaptive coping strategies, including avoidance and safety behaviors( defense mechanisms), followed by post-event rumination, which leads to further social apprehension in the future.

Question 3
Describe Beck’s cognitive theory of depression, and provide a critique based on your ideas.

It is evident that Beck’s cognitive theory has a lot of relevance to the field of psychology. For instance, it is clear that depressed people have a tendency to judge themselves in biased ways and this is clearly addresses in the theory. In addition, Beck’s theory is based on a triad that encompasses behavior, antecedent events and consequences. These are clearly affected by the person, the person’s world and the future. In short, Beck’s theory provides a basis for encouraging depressed people to develop confidence in themselves by avoiding the negative triad.
Hence, psychological patients are not treated as patients but as participants in behavior change. Moreover, Beck’s theory is rooted on empirical evidence and not just assumptions. In spite of the many strengths of the theory, its notable shortcomings include the fact that the validity of its measurements involved in the theory cannot be generalized to all people since different people have inherent differences. In addition, it is possible to find contradictory measurements due to these differences.
Furthermore, the theory does not clearly illustrate how cognitive distortions occur; hence, one cannot tell whether they are causes or effects of other events Conclusion Beck’s cognitive theory addresses the causative agents of depression and what can be done to alter them. The theory’s triad entails behavior, antecedent events and consequences, all of which are affected by the self, the world and the future. Automatic thoughts arise from different interpretations of these phenomena
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