Anxiety can be classified as an unpleasant feeling associated with a general sense of danger, or a feeling that something bad is going to occur (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Anxiety and fear are close to having the same meaning. Although in fear, the danger is more definite. The DSM-IV-TR category for anxiety disorders contains those where anxiety is the key symptom. Some of the main disorders that can come from having excessive anxiety include phobias, general anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and acute stress disorder (Hansell & Damour, 2008).
Anxiety and fear are ordinary responses to threatening or hazardous conditions. However, a person with an anxiety disorder may be subject to anxiety and fear in contexts that do not justify such feelings. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) In the instance of obsessive-compulsive disorder, obsessions and compulsions take on a different meaning. Obsessions are defined as unwanted persistent thoughts, ideas and feelings, whereas compulsions are defined as recurring, ritualized behaviors in an effort to control the anxiety that brought about the obsessions (Hansell & Damour, 2008).
The anxiety can be brought on by a number of factors. For instance, a person can be worried that his or her parents will die and every time he or she thinks about it they begin to feel the anxiety. When a person tries to resist a compulsion an increasing amount of tension and anxiety occur. These feelings are alleviated when that person gives in to the compulsion (obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), 2009).
Those who suffer from OCD, “can have compulsive behaviors that involve seemingly logical, through irrationally excessive, attempts to reduce the anxiety associated with obsessive thoughts…” (Hansell & Damour, 2008, p. 124). References obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). (2009). In The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology. Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com/entry/penguinpsyc/obsessive_compulsive_disorder_ocd Hansell, J. & Damour, L. (2008). Abnormal psychology (2nd ed. ). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley