Biological Explanations of Anxiety Disorder Free Essay


Anxiety disorders have become so prevalent in our society today. This has pushed for more research by researches with an aim to understand this order and also to be able to address this disorder. Essentially, cognitive psychology has proposed a functional model which tried to explain the mental organization, which leads to emotional disorders. In these disorders, anxiety spectrum denotes a domain whereby this model appears to be interesting for a practical and comprehensive pathological approach. Researchers and clinicians have resorted to pursuing experiments and research on anxiety disorders to address this disorder by finding effective strategies to control, prevent and treat (Hoge et al., 2018). Some of the cognitive or behavioural psychotherapeutic methods which are already in place related to cognitive references, though the cognitive “shemata” theoretical concepts or rather cognitive processes were introduced to give an explanation of the mental functioning in anxiety which requires an experimental method to get a sound rational understanding. Cognitive functions such as memory, perception, or even attention may be efficiently explored under this domain, thus facilitating a more detailed study for every stage of information processing (Lebowitz & Ahn, 2015). This paper will discuss an experiment on biological explanation of generalized anxiety disorder. It will discuss the hypothesis, methods, results and conclusion drawn on the experiment. The paper will also end with a thoughtful reflection on the reason the experiment on generalized anxiety disorder was chosen. 

Background information 

Since the 19th century and also in the 20th century, there are specific terminologies used in diagnosing generalized anxiety. These terms are pantophobia and anxiety neurosis. These terminologies showed characteristics such as panic attacks and interparoxysmal phenomenology. Additionally, generalized anxiety was regarded as a symptom of neurasthenia, an illness that is unclearly defined. Generalized anxiety disorder was categorized in 1980 as a diagnostic category within the 3rd edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III), at a time when neurosis was split into panic disorder as well as generalized anxiety disorder (Lebowitz & Ahn, 2015). The different responses that the two disorders gave to imipramine therapy helped in distinguishing the two. From the DSM-III (DSM-III-R) revised version, there has been an increased number of worry about life situations that have shown symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Therefore, a cognitive trait of anxiety has turned out to be the core standard of generalized anxiety disorder. Controversy has emerged on the validity of generalized anxiety disorders as being an independent category from the DSM-III to the preparation of DSM-5. 

In essence, generalized anxiety disorder is a common mental disorder which can be explained through neurobiology as well as genetics. Acceptance of biological explanations has begun to be done by the public as they have a tendency of believing biological explanations for mental disorders encompassing neurochemical imbalances as well as genetic abnormalities (Lee, Farrell, McKibbin, & Deacon, 2016). Such conceptual alteration was viewed as a probable destigmatization force, disregarding the perceptions held in the society that people having mental disorders are liable for their personal challenges. Truly, empirical evidence has demonstrated linkages to the biological conceptualization of psychopathology with minimized blames. 

Nonetheless, specific research has linked biological causes of mental illnesses to the negative attitudes to individuals having psychiatric illnesses which include, pessimism regarding the mental health prognoses. Such prognostic pessimism echoes neuroessentialism as well as genetic essentialism which is the erroneous beliefs that mental disorders have absolute essence within the brain and gene (Lebowitz, Pyun, & Ahn, 2014). Majority of the research undertaken has mostly considered prognostic beliefs among the public in general instead of just among individuals with mental disorders symptoms. Therefore, information regarding prognostic pessimism in symptomatic people would be essential in the clinic since the outcome expected are main determining factors of prognosis as well as the level of response to treatment. Patients awaiting positive results tend to be more likely to look for treatment thoroughly (Lebowitz et al., 2014). Moreover, individuals with psychopathology are most probable to maintain the biological beliefs regarding their disorders, since they might be biologically interrelated with individuals with a similar disorder or even have a preference of explanations deflecting personal responsibility. Therefore, it is essential to understand the way people are impacted by biological explanations regarding disorders they have the first-hand experience. 

Some studies have researched the impacts of biological clarifications regarding mental disorders among people having psychiatric symptoms, though they were encountered with some limitations. In a certain study, the biological cause of depression was endorsed to behave a linkage with prognostic pessimism among individuals with the symptoms, though this study was correlational, impending conclusions on if the biological beliefs triggered the prognostic pessimism. In one experimental research, patients portrayed to have additional prognostic pessimism whenever they were told that a person’s panic disorder resulted from a biological factor instead of psychological factors, though panic disorder failed to be diagnosed from anyone within the sample (Cheng, 2015). Therefore, it remains not known whether biological explanations may impact the prognostic expectations of people concerning their mental health. Direct experience results in individuals forming robust beliefs regarding the causes or prognoses of their individual mental disorders, and it can be hard to change, for instance, by utilizing biological explanations. Therefore, mental illness’ biological explanations may be less probable to cause pessimism or change beliefs among people with first-hand experience of mental disorder in comparison with people lacking such experiences.


The level at which individuals with mental syndromes are held accountable for their symptoms have reduced to some point due to biological explanations of is the belief that psychiatric conditions are quite unchallengeable (Lee et al., 2016). However, there are few studies that have observed whether these impacts take place among persons who experience psychiatric indicators. The trial of the study projected that the biological clarification would minimize attributes of personal liability but increase analytical pessimism.


In January and February 2012, adults living in the United States were gauged for signs of general anxiety disorder. They were consigned into two groups in a random manner: The first was a biological condition whereby the contributors were given an explanation of comprehensive anxiety disorder as well as a biological explanation (Lebowitz et al., 2014). The others were given a control condition in which contributors were given same report without no description of etiology. Theories about the diagnosis and the individual obligation of a typical individual with generalized anxiety illness were assessed using the period of the symptoms, responsibility for symptoms and reliant measures of treatability.

Conclusion and Thoughtful reflection

To sum it up, I become more interested in this topic because we might not understand what causes a person to undergo a mental health problem. This does not mean it should not be taken more severe, like other illness and treatment. Mental health is increasing and more disturbing in every part of the world. It is one of the neglected illness in developing affects a person by altering activities, working and thinking patterns. There are perceptions of mental disorder due to some cultural beliefs and views. For example, Southeast Asia believes that supernatural forces are some of the causes of mental health problem. Pacific islands believe that mental illness is caused by family fights. This thesis provides a chance to appreciate different views regarding mental health problems and disorders. This will be more helpful to appreciate the real causes and to present an all-inclusive picture about discrepancies in mental health hitches.

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