Adolescents and adults recognize the excessiveness and unreasonableness of fear. For people under the age of 18, symptoms must persist for at least 6 months before making a diagnosis of specific phobia.
every phobia has a component of repulsion and unconscious attraction towards the feared object, which is countered through the three defense mechanisms, such as displacement, projection and avoidance, mechanisms that act simultaneously: fear is displaced by internal objects and projected onto external objects, which are avoided as much as possible.
Social Phobia is the marked and persistent fear of social situations, of performances to which the subject is exposed in the presence of others, and of their judgment.
- Exposure to these phobic stimuli causes a generalized anxious response, which can take on the characteristics of a Panic Attack.
- The person recognizes that the fear is excessive and unreasonable and carries out avoidance behaviors or endures with great discomfort the feared social or performance situations.
- All this significantly interferes with the work and social functioning of the subject.
It is important to investigate
– what are the social situations that most create discomfort and what experience they arouse
– how the subject lived and elaborated the issues related to showing oneself, to showing oneself, themes that, according to the psychodynamic conception, predominate in the phallic-oedipal phase;
Know the period and circumstances of onset of the disease
Also in this case, a cognitive-behavioral therapeutic path may be useful (techniques such as deconditioning towards feared social situations or graduated immersion in anxious situations) or a psychodynamic approach that tends to favor a process of awareness and elaboration of the terms of the conflict and to promote individual affirmation.
See also Social Phobia.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Is characterized by at least 6 months of anxiety and worries that are difficult to control, which concern a variety of issues and are present for most of the day. These concerns manifest themselves throughout the body (muscle tension, fatigue, etc.) and affect mood and sleep.
It is important to explore the conflict and impulses underlying the anxious symptoms, to know how long the disorder has been present, what the circumstances of onset have been, what issues the anxiety mainly focuses on, at what time of day and under what circumstances it occurs. the symptomatology.
Since anxiety is a danger signal, it is important to understand what the subject wants to protect himself from, the level of impairment of the functional areas, the defensive styles implemented and the perception of the self.
In acutely anxious individuals, anxiolytic drugs are undoubtedly effective: they rapidly reduce symptoms, especially in the first weeks of therapy. Due to the risk of developing drug dependence, most experts agree that anxiolytics should be prescribed at the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible period of time.
The milder forms of DAG are best treated with psychotherapy in which the patient is taught strategies for managing anxiety. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapies teach clients to test how their unrealistic thoughts and ruminations affect their behavioral functioning.