The person who experiences anxiety

Eimear Muir-Cochrane, Deb O'Kane, Kylie Harrison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter aims to distinguish between tension, anxiety and anxiety disorders. It describes the aetiology of anxiety and the symptoms and relief behaviours of anxiety. The chapter shows how to develop self-management skills for anxiety in the nursing profession. It discusses the most common anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety, phobias, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is vital that nurses reflect upon their own experience of events that invoke anxiety and learn how to manage these feelings usefully, in order to be of use to those in their care. Anxiety is characterized by a feeling of dread or uncomfortable anticipation, with physical, psychological, behavioural and cognitive features. The biological view holds that anxiety disorders may have a genetic element, particularly OCD, and are associated with alterations in cerebral serotonin and dopamine. Learning theory supports the concept that anxiety is a conditioned response to specific environmental stimuli and has a biological survival value.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Subtitle of host publicationThe Craft of Caring
EditorsMary Chambers
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781482221961
ISBN (Print)9781482221954
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2017


  • anxiety disorders
  • self management
  • serotonin
  • dopamine
  • mental health nursing


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