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Learnt behaviour theory

Learnt behaviour theory

This theory is similar to the conditioning theory, but with a difference. That is that here, the subject has learnt from someone else’s experience that an anxiety state is to be expected.

For example, a boy’s mother is phobic of snakes. She screams every time one appears on TV. The boy learns that snakes are to be feared and copies the phobia.

This can also apply in other anxiety states. For example if it is the way of the family to avoid social contact then this behaviour can be internalised as “the” way to be.

Short term causes

The theories I have outlined in the last several posts all predominantly focus on the causes of long term anxiety states. However, there can be other factors which trigger anxiety disorders in a more acute way:

  • loss
  • change
  • drugs
  • medical conditions including hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, mitral valve prolapse and cardiac problems.

It is essential when seeking therapy that you are sure that there are no more acute reasons for the anxiety state that you are experiencing. Therapy can be helpful even when one has a more acute reason for it to occur, but it is essential that this is known early on in order to achieve the results one is looking for.

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