Anxiety is a universal human response to routine stress and emotional conflict that is experienced both psychologically and physiologically. It is important to distinguish “normal” anxiety from “pathological” anxiety or anxiety disorder. Pathological anxiety may be distinguished from normal by its autonomy, intensity, duration, or associated behavior. When “autonomous,” anxiety appears to have a “life of its own,” with minimal basis in identifiable environmental stimuli. The “intensity” of symptomatic distress for pathological anxiety frequently exceeds the patient’s capacity to bear the discomfort; the experience, therefore, is unlikely to engender a healthy, adaptive response. When symptoms recur or persist over time, the duration of anxious suffering will typically indicate pathology. Finally, pathological anxiety may trigger such stereotyped behavioral responses as avoidance or lifestyle constriction .
KeywordsAnxiety Disorder Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Anxiety Symptom Generalize Anxiety Disorder Social Phobia
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