Psychological vs Pharmacological Interventions for Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is a dangerous psychological state since it is followed by corresponding changes in the neural system: persistent irradiation and irritation lead to long-lasting exhaustion and fatigue, especially if anxiety fits are frequent and happen 5-10 times a day (Goisman, 1994). According to G.Bushnell, “Anxiety is an umbrella term for physical, mental and behavioral changes which automatically occur in the face of threat. People feel apprehensive and ‘on edge’, and may worry. They may also find it difficult to concentrate on anything other than the threat” (Bushnell, 1998, p.5). The present essay focuses on three forms of anxiety disorders: panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and separation anxiety disorder and is designed to compare the psychological and pharmacological treatment of the diseases and possible research-based combinations.

Panic disorder with and without agoraphobia is a debilitating and often relapsing condition that affects about 1 out of 75 persons worldwide (Bushnell, 1998) and sometimes changes the whole personality structure. In the late 1960s, psychiatrists and scholars (Bushnell, 1998. Ciarocchi, 1995. Goisman et al, 1994) began to distinguish panic disorder as a separate form of anxiety disorder, and the final version of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) (Bushnell, 1998) gives detailed description of this condition. The main symptoms of panic disorder are faintness, instability of feelings, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, nausea or distress, headaches or chest pains, paresthesias or inadequate emotional reactions, associated with fear of death or ‘crazy’ or inappropriate acts (Bushnell, 1998). Panic attacks might occur even during sleep and affect overall health state, decreasing productivity and the ‘emotional performance’ of an individual (Marks,&nbsp.1987).&nbsp.