Anxiety Disorders


Social Phobia and Agoraphobia

Social setting = Social phobia
Gorilla = Agoraphobia

Fear of Speaking

Mime = Fear of speaking

Avoidance of Situations

Ma Gorilla and son having flashback = Avoidance


Cow-hog-beehive = Cognitive behavioral therapy

Anxiety Disorders Script

1. Zoom: picnic baskets and Army general

Hot Spot: General Anks with ax = general anxiety disorder, picnic = panic disorder

Information Script: Affecting nearly a quarter of the population, anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent mental disorders. Various conditions, ranging from genetics to brain injury and stimulant abuse, can activate anxiety disorders. While anxiety itself is a natural, healthy response to a threat situation and necessary for preservation, anxiety disorders occur when the brain perceives a circumstance as more dangerous than it actually is and responds accordingly. This response causes performance-inhibiting symptoms that may include confusion, sweating, muscle tension, pain, tiredness, unease and alarm. Specific types of anxiety may manifest differently. General anxiety disorder or GAD, shown here by the ax-wielding General Anks, is chronic, irrational worry that prompts three or more symptoms and persists over half a year during daily activities. Panic disorder, shown by the picnic, causes terror that is extreme, unanticipated, frequent and unexplained.

Story Script: The community picnic has been thrown into disarray by the arrival of General Anks, the ax-wielding Army recruiter who despises draft dodgers and knows that this little ape’s number is up. Picnic or no picnic, he’s dragging Junior off to the depot.

2. Zoom: People talking, Ma Gorilla pulling her baby

Hot Spot: social setting = social phobia, gorilla = agoraphobia,

Information Script: Situations involving other people, like the picnic-goers in this CoursePic, can give rise to social phobia, intense nervousness and self-consciousness that come from a fear of being judged by others. Agoraphobia is represented here by a gorilla as in the last lesson. This condition may be triggered by social encounters but is better characterized as fear and avoidance of scenarios that could prompt feelings of panic, entrapment, helplessness or humiliation.

Story Script: What once was a happy social setting is now more panic than picnic as the Ma Gorilla goes into hysterics. Junior is nearly pulled in half as a violent tug-o-war ensues. The picnic-goers are abuzz with worry.

3. Zoom: Mime

Hot Spot: mime = fear of speaking

Information Script: A very common fear is glossophobia, or fear of public speaking. This form of performance anxiety may result in the familiar “fight or flight” symptoms that include shaking, increased blood pressure and respiratory rates, and dry mouth. This fear of speaking is represented by a mime in our CoursePic.

Story Script: The mime they’ve hired for entertainment is truly at a loss for words as he reverts to his routine and anxiously watches the scene unfold. Fortunately, the draft reprieve comes just in time and Junior is spared a foreign combat tour.

4. Zoom: Ma Gorilla and son looking worried

Hot Spot: Ma Gorilla and son having flashback = avoidance

Information Script: Many phobias and anxiety disorders cause panic attacks just like they do for Ma Gorilla in our CoursePic. These are a peak level of suffering that presents with such symptoms as heart palpitations, shaking, feelings of smothering or choking, numbness and tingling, and chest pain, among others. Panic attacks can result in avoidance, a situation in which a person’s irrational desire to avoid a dreaded object or circumstance can disrupt the sufferer’s daily life.

Story Script: Months later, what should have been a fun trip to the park turns into major trauma for Ma and her son as they recall the horror of General Anks breaking up their picnic. Ma has a flashback and begins to turn back.

5. Zoom: Doctor Hog and beehive

Hot Spot: cow-hog beehive = cognitive behavioral therapy

Information Script: Most anxiety disorders are treated through a combination of pharmaceuticals and cognitive behavioral therapy, indicated in this CoursePic by the cow-hog beehive. CBT targets specific problems and uses personal coping mechanisms which alter detrimental thinking patterns in a patient.

Story Script: Fortunately, world-famous therapist Doctor Hog is on the scene. Disguised as a cow so he won’t be recognized, he sends the bees from his cow-hog beehive to jog Ma’s memory and remind her of the draft waiver that will keep her son safe by her side.

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