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What makes an emotion pathological?

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Take two basic human emotions and show how they appear in DSM. What makes an emotion pathological?

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Please see response attached, which is also presented below.


1. Take two basic human emotions and show how they appear in DSM. What makes an emotion pathological?

Let's look at anxiety and depression or sadness.

(1) Anxiety

DSM IV-TR speaks of emotions, such as anxiety, in terms of behavioral symptoms. For example, in the DSM IV-TR, it says this about anxiety:

"When an individual who has been exposed to a traumatic event develops anxiety symptoms, reexperiencing of the event, and avoidance of stimuli related to the event lasting less than four weeks they may be suffering from this Anxiety Disorder."

Thus, the emotion of anxiety is considered pathological when it is experienced after a traumatic event, and the person experiences these anxiety symptoms by re-experiencing the event and also reacts by avoiding the stimuli related to the event, lasting less than four weeks. Thus, the anxiety symptoms are causing the person significant distress in various areas of life, thus, it is considered pathological.

In the following excerpt, anxiety becomes pathological when the following anxiety symptoms meet the following criteria.

Excerpt: DSM IV-TR - Diagnostic criteria for 308.3 Acute Stress Disorder
(cautionary statement)

A. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:
(1) the person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others
(2) the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror
B. Either while experiencing or after experiencing the distressing event, the individual has three (or more) of the following dissociative symptoms:
(1) a subjective sense of numbing, detachment, or absence of emotional responsiveness
(2) a reduction in awareness of ...

Solution Summary

Takes two basic human emotions and show how they appear in DSM-IV-TT, including the diagnostic criteria for each. This solution then discusses what factors makes an emotion pathological.