Outline and Evaluate Different Explanations of Anxiety Disorders.

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There are a number if different anxiety disorders which include Obsessive-compulsive disorder and Phobias, in this essay I will be focusing on the different explanations of phobias. One explanation represents the medical model, which argues that mental disorders are an illness or disease. Another explanation represents the view that mental disorders are a problem of psychological dysfunction relating to the interaction between individuals and their environment. In the DSM-IV phobias are classified as anxiety disorders are the most common of all anxiety disorders. The first explanation of phobias is the genetic explanation, which argues that phobias are hereditary. Most if the family studies conducted by researchers have found that relatives of those with phobias are more likely to suffer phobias themselves compared with relatives of non-phobic controls. A twin study by Slater and Shields 1969 found 41% concordance in 17MZ twin pairs versus 4% in 28 DZ twin pairs for any type of anxiety disorder. However even though studies have proven to support the genetic problems there are a number of difficulties with family studies. The main problem is that in most cases family members share the same environment so it can be argued that it was the environment that caused them to equally learn the behaviour instead of the genetic relationship. Twin studies offer more reliable data but unfortunately not many twin studies have been conducted. Also the lack in empirical research indicates that there is very little support for the genetic influence in anxiety disorders. Another explanation for phobias is the neurological explanation which is based on the functioning of the autonomic nervous system. Research has shown that people who develop phobias are those who generally maintain a high level of physiological arousal which makes them sensitive to the external environment.
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