- 1. Fear or apprehension or dread of impending danger and accompanied by restlessness, tension, tachycardia, and dyspnea unattached to a clearly identifiable stimulus. 2. In experimental psychology, a drive or motivational state learned from and thereafter associated with previously neutral cues. [L. anxietas, a., fr. anxius, distressed, fr. ango, to press tight, to torment]- free-floating a. in psychoanalysis, a pervasive unrealistic expectation unattached to a clearly formulated concept or object of fear; observed particularly in a. neurosis and may be seen in some cases of latent schizophrenia.- separation a. a child's apprehension or fear associated with removal from or loss of a parent or significant other.
* * *1 a) a painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usu. over an impending or anticipated illb) a cause of anxiety2) an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it
* * *n.generalized pervasive fear. Anxiety state is a condition in which anxiety dominates the patient's life; neuroses are now usually called anxiety disorders (see neurosis, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder). See also generalized anxiety disorder.
* * *an·xi·e·ty (ang-ziґə-te) the unpleasant emotional state consisting of psychophysiological responses to anticipation of unreal or imagined danger, ostensibly resulting from unrecognized intrapsychic conflict. Physiological concomitants include increased heart rate, altered respiration rate, sweating, trembling, weakness, and fatigue; psychological concomitants include feelings of impending danger, powerlessness, apprehension, and tension. Cf. fear.
Medical dictionary. 2011.