Treating Social Phobia

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Anxiety

Anxiety is a term used to describe a normal feeling people experience when faced with threat, anger, or when stressed; when people become anxious, they feel upset, uncomfortable, and tense (National Mental Health Strategy [NMHS], 2007). Anxiety is a normal feeling that everyone experiences from time to time. It is when you feel scared and worried a lot of the time and sometimes you are not even sure why is that happening to you; other words for anxiety are ‘feeling tense’ and ‘feeling nervous’ (Scope, 2008).

Some definitions of anxiety are given below:
Anxiety is the displeasing feeling of fear and concern (Davison, 2008). Anxiety is a normal response to threat or danger, which can be helpful as it mobilises energy reserves and improves performance (Watson, 2011) Barlow (2002) also defined anxiety and fear as, anxiety is a future oriented mood state associated with preparation for possible, upcoming negative events; and fear is an alarm response to present or imminent danger (real or perceived).

Anxiety is a normal part of living. According to Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA, 2006), It’s the body’s way of telling us something is not right, It keeps us from harm’s way and prepares us to act quickly in the face of danger; However, for some people, anxiety is persistent, irrational and overwhelming. It may get in the way of day-to-day activities and even make them impossible; this may be a sign of an anxiety disorder or phobia.

Lang (1968) classified the symptoms of fear and anxiety into a system of three-responses: verbal-subjective, overt motor acts, and somato-visceral activity. In this system, and in accordance with the definitions of anxiety and fear, the symptoms of anxiety include worry in verbal-subjective, avoidance in overt motor acts, and muscle tension in somato-visceral activity (Craske et al., 2004). The term “anxiety disorders” describes a group of conditions including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD),...
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