High Anxiety

Better Essays
Anxiety has been defined as a preparatory response to contexts in which a threat might occur (Davis, 2006). Hence, it can be present even when no actual threat is present, setting the tone for potential risk of a threat. This essay will be tracing the short-term advantages of high anxiety and the long-term advantages of low anxiety. In addition to this, an evolutionary stance will be taken to critically analyze the disadvantages of anxiety, and the understanding and treatments of an anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Short-term Advantages of High Anxiety
Anxiety is a response which benefits humans if it occurs within a short period of time, however, costly if it remains for a long period of time (Lee, Wadsworth, & Hotopf, 2006). A longitudinal study by Lee et al. (2006) annually collected measures on anxiety, non-accidental deaths, accidental deaths, and non-fatal accidents from their participants. They found that, regardless of
…show more content…
When someone is under-anxious they cannot respond accordingly to ensure survival in a stressful event. On the other hand, when over-anxious, there may be a false alarm, but this would ensure survival. Signal-detection theory has noted that even though anxiety can come about from harmless stimuli and lead to wasted resources, the times when something is harmful need not to be missed in order to ensure survival (Stirling, Greskovich, & Johnson, 2014). It is important to analyze the basic premise of this theory. It suggests that people are prone to be anxious of harmless stimuli. Even though there are advantages to this, it can lead to “disorders that share features of excessive fear and anxiety and related behavioral disturbances,” otherwise called anxiety disorders by the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association,
Get Access