The Persistent State of Anxiety In Adopted Child
The large population of Adopted Children present to the world of psychology and psychiatry the adopted child's constant and consistent feelings of anxiety, shame and humiliation that is directly related to the facts of being an adopted child. Compared to the similar age group population of biological offspring the adopted child population is chronically over represented in psychotherapy care, inpatient resident of psychiatric hospitalizations. The psychological professionals and mental health organizations have a serious familiarity, knowledge and patient-doctor professional relationships with regard to the over represented population of adopted children and adult adoptees in contact with mental health care. The tragedy lies with the adopted children and adult adoptees without access to such mental health assistance due to the adoptive family's adoption problem denial, ignorance of adoption issues and lack of financial resources for adopted children and adult adoptees to receive mental health assistance. That is a legitimate need for persons that were forced adopted without their consent in childhood, which is an on-going life-long process to make sense of the resulting adoption psychological trauma inflicted on innocent children.
Anxiety In-Depth Report
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Separation anxiety disorder (which is almost always seen in children)
GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER
- A more-or-less constant state of worry and anxiety, which is out of proportion to the level of actual stress or threat in one's life.
- This state occurs on most days for more than 6 months despite the lack of an obvious or specific stressor. (It worsens with stress, however.)
- It is very difficult to control worry. For a clear diagnosis of GAD, the specific worries should be differentiated from those that would define other anxiety disorders, such as fear of panic attacks or appearing in public. Moreover, they are not obsessive such as those that occur with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Patients with GAD may experience physical symptoms (such as gastrointestinal complaints) in addition to, or even in place of, mental worries. (This latter case may be more common among people from non-Western cultures.)
- People with GAD tend to be unsure of themselves, overly perfectionist, and conforming.
- Being on edge or very restless
- Feeling tired
- Having difficulty with concentration
- Being irritable
- Having muscle tension
- Experiencing disturbed sleep
- A person experiences at least two recurrent, unexpected panic attacks.
- For at least a month following the attacks, the person fears that another will occur.
- Rapid heart beat
- Shortness of breath
- A choking feeling or a feeling of being smothered
- Feelings of unreality
- Either hot flashes or chills
- Chest pain
- A fear of dying
- A fear of going insane
- Generalized social phobia is the fear of being humiliated in front of other people during nearly all social situations. People with this subtype are the most socially impaired and also the most likely to seek treatment.
- Specific social phobia usually involves a phobic response to a specific event. Performance anxiety ("stage fright") is the most common specific social phobia and occurs when a person must perform in public. These patients usually feel comfortable in informal social situations.
- Obsessions are recurrent or persistent mental images, thoughts, or ideas. The obsessive thoughts or images can range from mundane worries about whether one has locked a door to bizarre and frightening fantasies of behaving violently toward a loved one.
- Compulsive behaviors are repetitive, rigid, and self-directed routines that are intended to prevent the manifestation of an associated obsession. Such compulsive acts might include repetitive checking for locked doors or unlit stove burners or calls to loved ones at frequent intervals to be sure they are safe. Some people are compelled to wash their hands every few minutes or to spend inordinate amounts of time cleaning their surroundings in order to subdue the fear of contagion.
- Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). In BDD, people are obsessed with the belief that they are ugly, or part of their body is abnormally shaped.
- Hypochondriasis. People who have hypochondiasis have an excessive fear of having a serious disease.
- Anorexia nervosa. OCD frequently accompanies this eating disorder, where the compulsive behavior focuses on food restriction and thinness.
- Trichotillomania. People with trichotillomania continually pull their hair, leaving bald patches.
- Tourette syndrome. Symptoms of Tourette syndrome include jerky movements, tics, and uncontrollably uttering obscene words.
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
- The patient must have directly experienced, witnessed, or learned of a life-threatening or seriously injurious event.
- The patients' response is intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Children may behave with agitation or with disorganized behavior.
- Re-experiencing. In such cases, patients persistently re-experience the trauma in at least one of the following ways: in recurrent images, thoughts, flashbacks, dreams, or feelings of distress at situations that remind them of the traumatic event. Children may engage in play, in which traumatic events are enacted repeatedly.
- Avoidance. Patients may avoid reminders of the event, such as thoughts, people, or any other factors that trigger recollection. They tend to have an emotional numbness, a sense of being in a daze or of losing contact with their own identity or even external reality. They may be unable to remember important aspects of the event.
- Increased Arousal. This includes symptoms of anxiety or heightened awareness of danger (sleeplessness, irritability, being easily startled, or becoming overly vigilant to unknown dangers).
SEPARATION ANXIETY DISORDER
- Extreme distress from either anticipating or actually being away from home or being separated from a parent or other loved one
- Extreme worry about losing or about possible harm befalling a loved one
- Intense worry about getting lost, being kidnapped, or otherwise separated from loved ones
- Frequent refusal to go to school or to sleep away from home
- Physical symptoms such as headache, stomach ache, or even vomiting, when faced with separation from loved ones
The Body's Response
THE BRAIN'S RESPONSE TO ACUTE STRESS
RESPONSE BY THE HEART, LUNGS, AND CIRCULATION TO ACUTE STRESS
- As the bear comes closer, the heart rate and blood pressure increase instantaneously.
- Breathing becomes rapid, and the lungs take in more oxygen.
- The spleen discharges red and white blood cells, allowing the blood to transport more oxygen throughout the body. Blood flow may actually increase 300 - 400%, priming the muscles, lungs, and brain for added demands.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM'S RESPONSE TO ACUTE STRESS
THE ACUTE RESPONSE IN THE MOUTH AND THROAT
THE SKIN'S RESPONSE TO ACUTE STRESS
METABOLIC RESPONSE TO ACUTE STRESS
THE RELAXATION RESPONSE: THE RESOLUTION OF ACUTE STRESS
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF STRESS
- Sudden stress increases the pumping action and rate of the heart, while at the same time causing the arteries to constrict (narrow). This restricts blood flow to the heart.
- The emotional effects of stress alter the heart rhythms, which could pose a risk for serious arrhythmias (rhythm abnormalities) in people with existing heart rhythm disturbances.
- Stress causes the blood to become stickier (possibly in preparation for potential injury).
- Stress appears to impair the clearance of fat molecules in the body.
- Stress that leads to depression appears to be associated with increased intima-medial thickness, a measure of the arteries that signifies worsening blood vessel disease.
- Stress causes the body to release inflammatory markers into the bloodstream. These markers may worsen heart disease or increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
- Studies have reported an association between stress and high blood pressure, which may be more pronounced in men than in women. According to some evidence, people who regularly experience sudden spikes in blood pressure (caused by mental stress) may, over time, develop injuries to the inner lining of their blood vessels.
EFFECT ON THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
EATING AND STRESS
SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE DYSFUNCTION
MEMORY, CONCENTRATION, AND LEARNING
Conditions With Similar Symptoms
- A fast heart rate
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Increased muscle tension