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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 ?
et al (2017) studied correlation between quality of life and death anxiety among 132 cardiovascular patients.
The results suggested that the higher the ego integrity, the lower is the death anxiety. Similarly, other researches on ego integrity and death anxiety also showed identical results (Kim, 2008; Neimeyer, 2007).
Some researchers have aimed to explain death anxiety, and others have attempted to determine if any relationships exist between death anxiety and different personality factors (Buzzanga, Miller, Perne, Sander, & Davis, 1989).
Clear and compelling reasons exist for the translation of the ASDA into the Farsi language and the study of its psychometric properties in order to investigate the cultural, ethnic, and sociodemographic factors that can influence the intensity of death anxiety in Iran.
Over the years, there has been a considerable amount of psychological research focussed on death anxiety.1-3,8,12
Tools such as Templer's Death Anxiety Scale(TDAS), [13] the Collett Lester Fear of Death Scale(CLFOD), [14] the Spanish Death Anxiety Inventory(SDAI), [15] and the Arabic Scale of Death Anxiety(ASDA), [16] have been developed and demonstrate adequate reliability and validity.
Data collection has been done using a survey form, death anxiety scale, state and trait anxiety scale.
IAT D scores were not correlated with age, depression, hopelessness, psychological flexibility, belief in the afterlife, or death anxiety (all ps> .05; see Table 4).
Arabic Death Anxiety Scale (ASDA) was developed and validated by Abdel-Khalek in 2004 on the basis of the rationale that there are concepts related to death and afterdeath that are specific to Muslim populations.
Caregivers who experience death anxiety have anxious thoughts or feelings when thinking about or talking about death and/or the dying process, or when interacting with someone who is dying (Lehto & Stein, 2009; Mallet, Jurs, Price, & Slenker, 1991; Tomer, 1994).
There were studies of death anxiety in Iranian nurses for example [13-16], one study of reasons for fearing death using Reasons for Death Fear Scale (RDFS), one study of death concern and death obsession using Death Concerns Scale (DCS), and Death Obsession Scale (DOS) in Iranian nurses [17-18], but there has been no study using the Death Depression Scale (DDS) in Iran amongst nurses.