Psychophysiologie der Angst

  • B. Saletu
  • J. Grünberger
Conference paper

Zusammenfassung

Von den verschiedenen komplexen Reaktionen der Angst (biochemischen, neuroendokrinologischen, psychischen etc.) sind uns die peripheren psychophysiologischen am bewußtesten und verständlichsten, weil sie sich auf der Erlebnisebene abspielen und als relative Veränderungen verschiedener vegetativer Funktionen wie der Herztätigkeit, peripherer Durchblutung, Atemtätigkeit, Schweißproduktion, Speichelproduktion, des Muskeltonus etc. vergleichend wahrgenommen und einfach beobachtet werden können. Da sie auch quantitativ erfaßbar sind, haben sie auch schon frühzeitig wissenschaftliches Interesse erregt. 1727 brachte Du Petit das Pupillenspiel mit verschiedenen Krankheiten in Verbindung und bezeichnete seine Erfassung als wichtige medizinische Methode. Seit Ende des letzten Jahrhunderts ist bekannt, daß die Hautleitfähigkeit (bzw. der Hautwiderstand) mit psychischen Vorgängen variiert (Féré 1888). Mit der Entdeckung des Elektroenzephalogramms (EEG) durch Berger (1929) und mit den nachfolgenden Entwicklungen quantitativer Analysetechniken eröffnete sich die Möglichkeit, auch zentral psychophysiologische, d.h. neurophysiologische Korrelate der Angst zu untersuchen. Diese sind insofern von besonderem Interesse, als das Gehirn die zentrale Schaltstelle einerseits für die Bedrohungswahrnehmung, andererseits für die Bedrohungsreaktion ist. Vorliegende Arbeit soll einen kleinen Überblick über zentrale und periphere psychophysiologische Aspekte der Angst sowie deren Behandlung vermitteln. Da Korrelationsuntersuchungen zwischen dem psychopathologischen Merkmal Angst und psychophysiologischen Variablen nur sehr wenig vorhanden sind, wurden in den Überblick auch Krankheitsbilder miteinbezogen, bei denen die Angst eine dominante Stelle in der klinischen Symptomatik einnimmt, wie z. B. die erlebnisreaktiven Entwicklungen (Neurosen). Tatsächlich konnten ja Strian u. Klicpera (1984) zeigen, daß Patienten mit Angstneurosen (ICD 300.0), Phobien (300.2) und depressiven Neurosen (300.4), basierend auf Fremd- und Selbstbeurteilung, hochsignifikani ängstlicher waren als eine Normpopulation, daß sie aber auch ängstlicher waren als eine psychiatrische Referenzgruppe (n = 2493).

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  • B. Saletu
  • J. Grünberger

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