Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Allan Hugh ColeJr.
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_38

Anxiety is a common condition that presents in multiple forms and affects emotional, cognitive, physical, behavioral, and relational states. It includes feelings of uneasiness, worry, fear, apprehension, nervousness, and distress and also longing, aching, and yearning. Anxiety may also involve difficulty concentrating, ordering thoughts, speaking, and erratic conduct. A natural reaction that prepares one for responding to perceived dangers, anxiety can serve a protective function. Chronic or severe anxiety causes emotional distress, obsessive thinking, compulsive behaviors, relational struggles, and generalized restlessness. Anxiety often coexists with depression, and these exacerbate one another. Similar to depression, sources of anxiety, its effects, and its relief may be psychological, physiological, or religious in nature.

Studies indicate that approximately 13 % of adults between the ages of 18 and 54 suffer from an anxiety disorder (NIMH 2004). Other studies indicate that...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pastoral CareAustin Presbyterian Theological SeminaryAustinUSA