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Acute stress disorder
A short-lived anxiety reaction to a traumatic event; if it lasts more than a month, it is diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder
A cluster of fears centering on being in open spaces and leaving the home. It is often linked to panic disorder.
An unpleasant feeling of fear and apprehension accompanied by increased physiological arousal. In learning theory, it is considered a drive that mediates between a threatening situation and avoidance behaviour. Anxiety can be assessed by self-report, by measuring physiological arousal and by observing overt behaviour.
Anxiety disorders
Disorders in which fear or tension is overriding and the primary disturbance.

Phobic disorders, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, acute stress disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. These disorders form a major diagnostic category and cover most of what used to be referred to as the neuroses.

Anxiety sensitivity
A cognitive preoccupation that involves a fear of fear itself and thus contributes to a heightened sense of panic.
Tranquilizers; drugs that reduce anxiety.
Autonomic liability
Tendency for the autonomic nervous system to be easily aroused.
The irresistible impulse to repeat an irrational act over and over again.
An alteration in perception of the self in which the individual loses a sense of reality and feels estranged from the self and surroundings enough to disrupt functioning.

People with this disorder may feel that their extremities have changed in size or that they are watching themselves from a distance.

Loss of the sense that the surroundings are real; present in several psychological disorders, such as panic disorder, depersonalization disorder and schizophrenia
A behaviour therapy procedure in which a fearful person is exposed to what is frightening, in reality or in the imagination, for extended periods of time and without opportunity for escape.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Anxiety that is so chronic, persistent and pervasive that it seems free-floating. The individual is jittery and strained, distractible and worried that something bad is about to happen. A pounding heart, fast pulse and breathing, sweating, flushing, muscle aches, a lump in the throat, and an upset gastrointestinal tract are some of the bodily indications of this extreme anxiety.
Between-therapy session learning that typically involves practice in engaging in specific behaviours or thoughts.
In vivo exposure
An exercise at home that requires the phobic person to be exposed to the highly feared stimulus or situation.
A common and newly identified phobia focused on fear of losing access to cell phone contact and not being connected with other people (i.e. no mobile phone phobia)
An intrusive and recurring thought that seems irrational and uncontrollable to the person experiencing it.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
An anxiety disorder in which the mind is flooded with persistent and uncontrollable thoughts or the individual is compelled to repeat certain acts again and again, causing significant distress and interference with everyday functioning.
Panic disorder
An anxiety disorder in which the individual has sudden and inexplicable attacks of jarring symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, dizziness, trembling, terror and feelings of impending doom. In DSM-to occur with or without agoraphobia.
An anxiety disorder in which there is intense fear and avoidance of specific objects and situations, recognized as irrational by the individual.
Post-event processing (PEP)
A type of cognitive processing engaged in by anxiety-prone individuals who think about things they should have or could have done after an event to make it turn out in a more favourable way.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
An anxiety disorder in which a particularly stressful event, such as military combat, rape, or a natural disaster brings in its aftermath intrusive reexperiencings of the trauma, a numbing of responsiveness to the outside world, estrangement from others, a tendency to be easily startled and nightmares, recurrent dreams and otherwise disturbed sleep.
Prolonged exposure therapy
Developed to treat PTSD.

It is a combined CBT approach that involves a step-by-step process of being exposed to imagery reflecting traumatic memories as well as actual life situations reflecting trauma.

Prospective memory
The ability to look forward and to remember to perform a required or intended action at the right place or time.
Retrospective memory
The ability to remember recent events and experiences that have already occurred.
Separation anxiety
A disorder in which the child feels intense fear and distress when away from someone on whom he or she is very dependent; said to be a significant cause of school phobia.
Social phobias
A collection of fears linked to the presence of other people and a sense of not being able to do the expected or right thing in public.
Specific phobias
An unwarranted fear and avoidance of a specific object or circumstance; for example, fear of nonpoisonous snakes or fear of heights.
Test anxiety
Feeling of tension, apprehension, and worry in actual or anticipated testing situations. Test anxiety usually involves physiological symptoms and cognitive symptoms(i.e. worry)
Test-irrelevant thinking
A component of test anxiety involving an inability to concentrate due to mind-wandering.

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