The 4 layers of anxiety

Anxiety is a normal emotional response to certain situations, And is an adaptive response to more or less stressful life events.

In other words, a certain degree of anxiety is desirable for the normal management of daily demands. It is a warning sign that warns of a danger and allows the person to take the necessary measures to deal with a possible threat; this makes the corresponding fight-or-flight response possible.

However, this level of vigilance sometimes reaches an excessive extreme.

    When anxiety becomes a problem

    Anxiety is pathological when it passes from the status of adaptive response to becoming discomfort that causes a deterioration in the person’s life with both physiological and cognitive symptomatology. This can be caused either by an excessive level of anxiety about the possible danger, or by an inadequate anxious response that appears in the face of non-existent dangers but which part of the brain structure interprets as threatening.

    This pathological anxiety is linked to present or recent events, however also with events experienced in the past which have generated beliefs, fears and defenses at a very deep level and which affect the present.

    Types of associated disorders

    According to mental disorder diagnostic manuals, anxiety disorders are as follows:

    1. Generalized anxiety

    excessive worry and persistent that presents itself constantly.

    2. Agoraphobia

    Terror in open or crowded spaces.

    3. Panic attack

    Episodes of strong anxiety, with high intensity somatic symptoms, Which is presented without just cause.

    4. Social phobia

    Fear of social situations such as meetings, parties …

    5. Specific phobia

    Great fear of specific situations or triggers (Animals, objects …)

    6. Post-traumatic stress

    Excessive fear generated by an event experienced as dangerous or which has caused a change in our way of interpreting life or the world around us.

    Layers of anxiety

    Depending on the type of disorder and each person, psychological treatment may vary, Always taking into account the different layers of the internal structure in which anxiety is present and the task at hand in each of them.

    1. Outer cover

    It is necessary to take into account the person’s current symptoms, current situations and current anxiety triggers, provide tools to manage their difficulties and to manage symptoms of anxiety.

    2. Middle layer

    cal understand and work on the cognitive structure and how distortions affect and maintain anxiety.

    3. Interior cover

    It is also essential to work with the parts of the personality which generate these “alarms”, parts which are blocked and maintain fears sometimes invisible on a conscious level.

    4. Subconscious blanket

    Finally, we must discover untreated trauma, blocked beliefs, Conflicts in different parts of the personality.

    Author: Mercedes Muñoz García

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