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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 mechanismdefense mechanism,
in psychoanalysis, any of a variety of unconscious personality reactions which the ego uses to protect the conscious mind from threatening feelings and perceptions.
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 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 disorderpost-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), mental disorder that follows an occurrence of extreme psychological stress, such as that encountered in war or resulting from violence, childhood abuse, sexual abuse, or serious accident.
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 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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 ?
Cats with separation anxiety or changes to their life such as a move to a new home, a new baby or houseguests may respond favorably to the techniques.
Parent separation anxiety score was better with dexmedetomidine group compared to midazolam group with p value 0.0419 (93% vs 70%).
He told the Daily Mirror that Moss is very much his sidekick, so he tends to get separation anxiety when he's away from her.
Most trials of pediatric anxiety have evaluated patients with "mixed anxiety disorders" because GAD, social phobia, and separation anxiety disorder are highly comorbid and share diagnostic features (Figure 1, page 17) (9) An RCT of fluvoxamine, up to 300 mg/d, in 128 pediatric patients with [greater than or equal to]1 anxiety disorders found significant differences in CGI-I and endpoint Pediatric Anxiety Rating Scale (PARS) scores.
But separation anxiety and stranger anxiety are not disorders at all; they are common phenomena experienced by most children during the first year or so of life.
Children experiencing symptoms of separation anxiety (e.g., worry that attachment figures will be harmed) and social anxiety (e.g., excessive shyness, fear of embarrassment) often have difficulty attending school and participating in activities with peers, such as sleepovers or birthday parties (Albano, Chorpita, & Barlow, 2003).
This Australian study investigated the association between the mother-infant relationship, defined as maternal-infant emotional attachment, maternal separation anxiety and breastfeeding, and maternal employment status at 10 months following first childbirth.
The concept had been proposed in Dashiff's previous studies (Dashiff, Hardeman, & McLain, 2008; Dashiff, Morrison, & Rowe, 2008; Dashiff, Vance, Abdullatif, & Wallender, 2009; Dashiff & Weaver, 2008) about adolescent attachment where parental separation anxiety was associated with glycemic control in younger adolescents.
S(Solution); Yes, she does have separation anxiety. She was taken from litter about four weeks too early, so she was overly dependent from the start.
"He has a separation anxiety. You should go without him!
Such symptoms can include a failure to cope well in relationships, separation anxiety and agoraphobia.