Fear and anxiety are complex behaviors that represent responses to environmental threats. These two behaviors differ in that fear is a response to a real or clearly identifiable threat and functions to remove the individual from a harmful situation (Belzung and Philippot ). In contrast, anxiety is a contrived or exaggerated fear response (Chaffey et al. ) and often proceeds in the absence of a truly threatening stimulus. This important distinction has led most psychologists and evolutionary biologists to regard fear as an appropriate and adaptive response (Barlow and Durand ), and anxiety as psychologically unhealthy and often associated with unwarranted physiological stress across multiple organ systems (Kessler et al. ).
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In contrast, bizarre delusions typically occur in schizophrenic individuals (which Jones most likely was not) and are an “absurd, totally implausible, strange false belief” (Kaplan and Sadock, 1998:282), such as aliens implanting electrodes into one’s brain. An easy way to distinguish delusional disorder from schizophrenia is that with delusional disorder the imagined events could be happening but are not, while with schizophrenia, the imagined events are not even possible (Barlow and Durand, 2002:431).
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A similar model is Barlow and Durand’s multidimensional integrative approach, which combines biological, social, psychological, emotional, and developmental domains to describe psychopathology such as violent behaviour (see Barlow and Durand, 2002:28-29).
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