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Anxiety Disorders: Conceptualizations and Approaches To Address the Issue

Anxiety disorders constitute a significant psychological health issue. This condition affects millions of individuals worldwide. The mental disorder is characterized by excessive and persistent worry, fear, and apprehension. This leads to a significant impairment in daily functioning. Thus, the analysis aims to explore two conceptualizations or frames through which anxiety disorders can be understood and examine how each approach influences the strategies employed to address this mental health issue.

Conceptualization 1: Biological Perspective

The biological perspective conceptualizes anxiety disorders as primarily rooted in physiological factors. As per this framework, genetic predispositions and neurochemical imbalances are primary factors. Research by Sarmiento and Lau (2020) has depicted that family history constitutes a major factor in suffering from this condition. Notably, changes in neurotransmitters like serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) have been linked to increased anxiety feelings.

How the Biological Perspective Influences Addressing the Issue

Interventions that focus on the underlying physiological mechanisms are necessary to treat anxiety disorders from a biological standpoint. Pharmacotherapy is frequently used to treat anxiety symptoms. This is by re-establishing the balance of neurotransmitters. Medication like SSRIs and benzodiazepines are two examples (Frank, 2020). Furthermore, non-pharmacological approaches, including neurofeedback, DBS, and TMS, have shown promising success in changing brain activity and lowering anxiety symptoms. This strategy emphasizes the significance of medical and neuroscientific approaches to effectively manage anxiety disorders by concentrating on the biological elements.

Conceptualization 2: Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective

The cognitive-behavioural viewpoint, which emphasizes the significance of dysfunctional thinking processes, false beliefs, and acquired behavioural reactions, offers a thorough knowledge of anxiety disorders. From this aspect of thinking, individuals suffering from anxiety disorders tend to overestimate the actual threat they face. People with social anxiety may imagine undesirable things leading them to fear social rejection.

These false beliefs and unfavourable self-perceptions create a greater sensation of vulnerability and danger. So, as a coping strategy to lessen worry and shield oneself from possible humiliation or bad judgment, people with social anxiety employ avoidance behaviours. They momentarily reduce their anxiety by avoiding social settings or restricting their contacts, which perpetuates the idea that social interactions are intrinsically dangerous.

Likewise, cognitive biases that maintain anxiety symptoms include selective attention to perceived risks and overestimating probable adverse effects. These biases shape individuals’ interpretation of ambiguous or neutral situations, leading to an automatic and exaggerated focus on potential dangers. The cognitive-behavioural perspective proposes that by targeting these maladaptive thought patterns and learned behaviours, individuals can experience significant improvement in their anxiety symptoms (Sarmiento & Lau, 2020). Cognitive restructuring techniques aim to identify and challenge negative automatic thoughts and replace them with more realistic and adaptive alternatives (Keepers et al., 2020). Individuals may get a more fair and logical view of themselves and the world by questioning the veracity of unfavourable self-beliefs and looking into facts that refute them.

A cognitive-behavioural approach to treating anxiety disorders emphasizes behavioural treatments and cognitive restructuring. For instance, exposure therapy progressively exposes patients to circumstances that cause anxiety in a safe and encouraging setting (King et al., 2020). Through repeated and prolonged exposure, individuals can experience the absence of the feared consequences, which helps to weaken the association between the situation and anxiety. This process facilitates the development of new, more adaptive behavioural responses and reduces avoidance behaviours.

How the Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective Influences Addressing the Issue:

The cognitive-behavioural perspective guides interventions focusing on restructuring cognitive processes and modifying maladaptive behaviours associated with anxiety disorders. Techniques for cognitive restructurings, such as cognitive reframing and confronting illogical notions, aid in the identification of negative thinking patterns and their replacement with more realistic and adaptive ones (Sarmiento & Lau, 2020). Reducing avoidance tendencies and progressively exposing people to anxiety-provoking circumstances are the goals of behavioural therapies like exposure therapy and systematic desensitization (Bandelow, Michaelis, & Wedekind, 2022).

In summation, while the viewpoint of cognitive behavioural psychology points out the role of cognitive processes and learned behaviours, which leads to interventions that concentrate on cognitive restructuring and behavioural modifications, the biological perspective highlights the significance of physiological factors and suggests medical and neuroscientific interventions. Both methods provide insightful understandings of anxiety disorders’ characteristics and guide various treatment options. It is crucial to consider a multifaceted and integrated strategy incorporating different viewpoints to provide complete treatment for those with anxiety disorders.


Bandelow, B., Michaelis, S., & Wedekind, D. (2022). Treatment of anxiety disorders. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience.

Frank, G. K. (2020). Pharmacotherapeutic strategies for the treatment of anorexia nervosa–too much for one drug? Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy21(9), 1045–1058.

Keepers, G. A., Fochtmann, L. J., Anzia, J. M., Benjamin, S., Lyness, J. M., Mojtabai, R., … & (Systematic Review). (2020). The American Psychiatric Association practice guideline for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 177(9), 868-872.

King, R. M., Grenyer, B. F., Gurtman, C. G., & Younan, R. (2020). A clinician’s quick guide to evidence‐based approaches: Narcissistic personality disorder. Clinical Psychologist, 24(1), 91-95.

Sarmiento, C., & Lau, C. (2020). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM‐5. The Wiley Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences: Personality Processes and Individual Differences, 125-129.


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