AP Psychology : Anxiety and Trauma-Related Disorders

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

1 3 Next →

Example Question #21 : Anxiety And Trauma Related Disorders

Which neurotransmitter inhibits excitation, and can promote a decrease in anxiety?

Possible Answers:

Norepinephrine

GABA 

Serotonin

Dopamine

Acetylcholine

Correct answer:

GABA 

Explanation:

"GABA" (Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, and is found throughout the neurons of the cortex. GABA deficiencies have been linked to anxiety disorders, and some anxiolytics (anxiety medications) work by increasing quantities of GABA available at neuron receptor sites.

The other choices are incorrect. "Serotonin" is primarily associated with regulating mood, appetite, and sleep, and is also implicated in nociception (sensation of pain). This neurotransmitter plays a major role in depression, but not necessarily anxiety. "Dopamine" is a major component of the reward system, and plays a role in arousal, motivation, motor control. "Norepinephrine" is mainly involved in preparing the body for action, for instance the 'flight or fight' response. It increases vigilance and alertness, focuses attention and improves memory recall and formation. Raised levels of norepinephrine can result in anxiety by way of increased stress. Last, "acetylcholine" is associated with motor neurons, and provides signals for the body to contract muscles. Drugs affecting this neurotransmitter thus may lead to paralysis or convulsions. In the brain acetylcholine plays a role in attention, arousal, and motivation.

Example Question #21 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

According to the DSM-V, which of the following is not classified as an anxiety disorder?

Possible Answers:

Agoraphobia

Panic disorder

Specific phobia

Anorexia nervosa

Generalized anxiety disorder

Correct answer:

Anorexia nervosa

Explanation:

"Anorexia nervosa" is an eating disorder characterized by a low weight, a fear of gaining weight, a strong desire to be thin, and food restriction. Although anorexia nervosa involves symptoms of anxiety (e.g. worried about gaining weight), it is not classified as an anxiety disorder. 

Example Question #21 : Anxiety And Trauma Related Disorders

A 6-year-old child, Lucas, is referred to psychological professional by his pediatrician. Lucas presents symptoms characterized by excessive anxiety and worry that occurs across a wide range of contexts and environments (e.g. school and home). He has difficulty falling asleep, is often irritable, and has trouble concentrating on classwork. Which of the following is the best diagnosis for Lucas?

Possible Answers:

Generalized anxiety disorder

Autism

Separation anxiety disorder

Depression

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Correct answer:

Generalized anxiety disorder

Explanation:

"Generalized anxiety disorder" (GAD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety and excessive worry and tension, even when nothing seems to be wrong. Lucas' symptoms best fit a diagnosis of GAD. Since Lucas' anxiety does not only occur during a separation from his primary caregiver, he should not receive a diagnosis of separation anxiety disorder (SAD). All of the other answer choices do not accurately represent Lucas' symptomology.

Example Question #22 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

_________________ disorders are a class of mental illnesses marked by feelings of excessive apprehension, nervousness, or worry.

Possible Answers:

Mood

Psychotic

Dissociative

Anxiety

Correct answer:

Anxiety

Explanation:

 Anxiety disorders are marked by excessive anxiety such as apprehension, nervousness, or worry. Mood disorders have to do with severe changes in one's mood (e.g., depression). Psychotic disorders are characterized by losing touch with reality through hallucinations or delusions. Dissociative disorders involve losing contact with portions of their consciousness or memory.

Example Question #23 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

A(n) __________________ is a(n) _________________ disorder that is characterized by a persistent and irrational fear of an object or situation that presents no realistic danger.

Possible Answers:

phobia . . . mood

panic attack . . . anxiety

panic attack . . . mood

phobia . . . anxiety

Correct answer:

phobia . . . anxiety

Explanation:

Phobias are anxiety disorders that are characterized by a strong fearfulness of an object (e.g., snakes, spiders, cars) or situation (being in an elevator, being in small spaces) that presents no realistic danger. A panic attack is not a disorder.

Example Question #22 : Anxiety And Trauma Related Disorders

Martha suffered a terrible car accident three years ago and was injured. Since that time, she has had difficulty returning to normal life and is distressed in her everyday life. Specifically, she often has frightening dreams about the incident, avoids driving/riding in cars as much as possible, and she can't seem to shake feelings of irritability and anger that started after the accident. Based on this scenario, Martha most likely suffers from _________________.
Possible Answers:

depression

post-traumatic stress disorder

bipolar disorder

no mental illness

Correct answer:

post-traumatic stress disorder

Explanation:
Martha is distressed in her everyday life and has behaviors and mood changes that deviate from normality for the past three years. Based on these facts, it is most likely that Martha meets criteria for a mental disorder. Her symptoms started after a traumatic event and she has intrusive dreams, avoidance, and mood changes since the event. Put together, it is most likely that she has post-traumatic stress disorder. She could have depression or bipolar, but the only symptom that fits is the irritability and anger. Post-traumatic stress disorder is the best answer.

Example Question #121 : Psychological Abnormalities

What is the most commonly diagnosed type of eating disorder?

Possible Answers:

Anorexia nervosa

Other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED)

All of these

Binge eating disorder

Bulimia nervosa

Correct answer:

Other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED)

Explanation:

The majority of eating disorders fall under the category “other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED). Previously, the percentage of cases was between 62.3 to 72.9%. With the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) the projected rate has gone down to 32.6 to 50.8%. It is difficult to get exact statistics for a variety of reasons, and this is also one of the reasons that many eating disorders are diagnosed in the "other" category.

1 3 Next →
Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors