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anxiety, anticipatory tension or vague dread persisting in the absence of a specific threat. In contrast to fear, which is a realistic reaction to actual danger, anxiety is generally related to an unconscious threat. Physiological symptoms of anxiety include increases in pulse rate and blood pressure, accelerated breathing rates, perspiration, muscular tension, dryness of the mouth, and diarrhea. Freud postulated that anxiety was a result of repressed, pent-up sexual energy, but later came to view it as a danger signal alerting the ego to excessive stimulation and causing repression. Anxiety disorders include observable, overt anxiety, as well as phobias and other conditions where a defense mechanism has been set up to disguise the anxiety from both the sufferer and the observer. In generalized anxiety, the individual experiences long-term anxiety with no explanation for its cause; such a condition may be called free-floating, since it is not linked to a specific stimulus. Panic disorder involves sudden anxiety attacks which are manifested in heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or fainting. The individual with a phobic disorder can identify the stimulus that causes anxiety: such stimuli as enclosed space, heights, and crowds become imbued with greatly exaggerated anxiety and are carefully avoided by the phobic individual. Obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) are characterized by obsessions (mental quandries) and compulsions (physical actions) that engage the individual excessively. Extreme anxiety may be experienced if the person does not carry out the compulsion or attempts to ignore the obsession. Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs when an individual has recurrent dreams, flashbacks, or panic attacks after a particularly traumatic experience.


See D. F. Klein, Anxiety (1987); D. H. Barlow, Anxiety and Its Disorders (1988); S. J. Rachman, Fear and Courage (1990).

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What does it mean when you dream about anxiety?

Worries, fears, and apprehension that may have been discounted or banished from one’s mind often find expression in dreams of anxiety.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


A physiological and mental state of apprehension and fear of something unknown to the conscious.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Psychol a state of intense apprehension or worry often accompanied by physical symptoms such as shaking, intense feelings in the gut, etc., common in mental illness or after a very distressing experience
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Experiencing much anxiety in your dream state may be related to your current difficulties and everyday life. Gaps may exist between the way things are and the way you would like them to be. Older interpretation books suggest that when you dream about anxiety, the contrary is true and that your worries will be lessened. However, always keep the compensatory nature of dreams in mind. If you are not feeling anxiety during the day, it could be that you are ignoring it and that it will appear in your dream. Therefore, look at the details of your dream and attempt to identify the anxiety-provoking situations in your daily life.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The worry and concentration disruption subscales reflect different aspects of cognitive anxiety. A composite performance-anxiety score based on summing the three subscales scores can also be obtained.
The results showed a significant relationship between cognitive anxiety ([F.sub.(1,65)] = 28.09; Wilks' Lambda = 0.83; [R.sup.2] = 0.24; p = 0.001) and HRV.
Association of stress symptoms with MSDs Risk estimates Female Male Stress symptoms Discomfort OR 95%CI OR 95%CI region Poor job Upper backs 3.8 1.8-8.3 satisfaction Lower backs 6.7 2.4-18.7 Knees 3.4 1.7-6.9 Neck 3.2 1.6-6.3 Cognitive anxiety Shoulders 1.8 1.0-3.3 Somatic anxiety Shoulders 2.1 1.1-3.9 7.3 1.6-32.1 Lower backs 6.9 1.5-30.5 Neurotic behavioral symptoms Upper backs 2.3 1.0-5.6 Table 4.
The results indicated that perfectionism and its components and the components of cognitive anxiety did not have a normal distribution.
Vitasari and his colleagues (2010) evidenced that physiological arousal and cognitive anxiety significantly impact students' academic performance.
Specifically, the greatest improvement was observed in the areas of cognitive anxiety and group anxiety.
The overall Cronbach's alpha reliability of the GEPT-TAS was 0.95, and the Cronbach's alpha values of cognitive anxiety, emotional anxiety, and affective anxiety were 0.89, 0.90, and 0.90, respectively.
In terms of pain intensity, the results showed significant correlations, although in this case not with all the subscales of the tests applied; specifically, with fear of pain, cognitive anxiety, physiology anxiety, and helplessness.
Somatic anxiety may be interpreted as a sign of "being ready," (20) while Jones and Hanton found not only that most athletes' main concern is cognitive anxiety regardless of somatic symptoms, but also that cognitions have a dominant influence on performance.
Cognitive anxiety has been identified as one of the variables that interfere with performance in sport (Burton, 1988).

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