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Theoretical Perspectives of Certain Disorders

Anxiety Disorder
Psychoanalysts believe that anxiety disorders are caused by internal mental conflicts
often involving sexual impulses. These impulses cause an overuse of the ego's defense
system that fails over time. This shows that the unacceptable impulses the ego has blocked
are the generalized anxiety disorders. These blocked impulses cause an unconscious state
of apprehension for which the person does not know the cause of. Phobias, however, occur
if the person sets the cause of the anxiety to a certain object, or situation, which they
can more easily avoid than the actual source of anxiety.

Panic disorders and agoraphobia are caused by separation anxiety, mainly separation from
parents, early in life. This happens in children who were taught to intervene in
separation from a parenting figure by throwing tantrums. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is
seen as a fixation in the mind at the primary stage of psychosexual development. The fact
that compulsive behavior rituals often involve cleanliness shows that there is mental
fixation during a period of mastering unclean bowel movements.

Behaviorists believe that in anxiety disorders the individual is not "fixated" but they have a
conditioned fear that does not involve oedipal complexes or displacement. The theory of
classical conditioning says that phobias are the result of learned associations of neutral
stimuli and frightening events. This also demonstrates why an individual might have a
phobia of guns after being shot by one.

Biological theorists believe that people with anxiety disorders have unusually responsive
autonomic systems that are more easily aroused by environmental stimuli. This condition is
known as autonomic lability that contributes to a tendency to be jumpy or anxious. They
feel that the basal ganglia has loops in the sensory input and behavioral output centers.

Somatoform Disorders
Psychoanalysts feel that somatoform disorders are caused by unresolved sexual impulses
that produce intense anxiety that is converted into physical symptoms. Because of this
conversion the original anxiety produced is now reduced, this process is termed primary
gain, but if the person is allowed to escape or avoid stressful life situations.

Similar to the psychoanalysts' perspective of secondary gain, behaviorists feel that if a
person is allowed to escape or avoid the physical symptoms are reinforced.

Biological theorists, have very little to say since there seems to be no physical cause of
the symptoms, except that there may be some genetic predisposition to Somatoform

Dissociative Disorders
Psychoanalysts believe that dissociative symptoms are caused by massive reliance on
repression to ward off unacceptable impulses, particularly those of a sexual nature. The
person then relocates the guilt produced into a second identity that is in the unconscious

Behaviorists feel that dissociative symptoms may be caused by avoidance of highly
stressful events, particularly those dealing with childhood abuse.

There is no evidence that dissociative disorders are linked to genetic or biological disorders.
Mood Disorders
Psychoanalysts feel that because of a fixation at an oral stage of psychosexual
development, individuals tend to develop ambivalent feelings toward their mothers. These
feelings are then transferred to other loved ones. Because of the feelings the person
cannot be successfully social to the loved one and then regresses back to an oral level,
where the person takes the love-hate relationship, and places it on their self.

Also, overdependency in instant gratification of basic needs and self esteem cause a
person to become so ambivalent that they may commit suicide which is the ultimate form of
aggression turned on the person.

Behaviorists theorize that the loss or separation of a loved one means a loss of positive
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