Mental Health

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Date Submitted: 09/28/2012 07:20 PM

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Blanca I. Charkas (M00338784)

Inter-American University of Puerto Rico (Metro)

May 9, 2012

I. Anxiety

Anxiety (also called angst or worry) is a psychological and physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. It is the displeasing feeling of fear and concern. When anxiety becomes excessive, it may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder.


Anxiety is a generalized mood that can occur without an identifiable triggering stimulus. As such, it is distinguished from fear, which is an appropriate cognitive and emotional response to a perceived threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is related to situations perceived as uncontrollable or unavoidable. Fear was defined as short lived, present focused, geared towards a specific threat, and facilitating escape from threat; while anxiety was defined as long acting, future focused, broadly focused towards a diffuse threat, and promoting caution while approaching a potential threat. Anxiety takes several forms: phobia, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and post-traumatic stress.

Physical effects

Heart palpitations, tachycardia, muscle weakness and tension, fatigue, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, stomach aches, or tension headaches. There are also emotional effects, cognitive effects, and behavioral effects


The symptoms of anxiety include excessive and ongoing worry and tension, an unrealistic view of problems, restlessness or a feeling of being "edgy", irritability, muscle tension, headaches,sweating, difficulty concentrating, nausea, the need to go to the bathroom frequently, tiredness, trouble falling or staying asleep, trembling, and being easily startled.


An evolutionary psychology explanation is that increased anxiety serves the purpose of increased vigilance regarding potential threats in the environment as well as increased...