free-floating anxiety

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a multidimensional emotional state manifested as a somatic, experiential, and interpersonal phenomenon; a feeling of uneasiness, apprehension, or dread. These feelings may be accompanied by symptoms such as breathlessness, a choking sensation, palpitations, restlessness, muscular tension, tightness in the chest, giddiness, trembling, and flushing, which are produced by the action of the autonomic nervous system, especially the sympathetic part of it.

Anxiety may be rational, such as the anxiety about doing well in a new job, about one's own or someone else's illness, about passing an examination, or about moving to a new community. People also feel realistic anxiety about world dangers, such as the possibility of war, and about social and economic changes that may affect their livelihood or way of living. Most persons find healthy ways to deal with their normal quota of anxiety.
Nursing Diagnosis. Anxiety was accepted as a nursing diagnosis by the North America Nursing Diagnosis Association and defined as “a vague, uneasy feeling of discomfort or dread, accompanied by an autonomic response (the source often nonspecific or unknown to the individual); a feeling of apprehension caused by anticipation of danger.” It is an alerting signal that warns of apprehension caused by anticipation of danger and enables the individual to take measures to deal with the threat. It is differentiated from fear in that the anxious person cannot identify the threat, whereas the fearful person recognizes the source of fear.

Factors that can precipitate an attack of anxiety include any pathophysiological event that interferes with satisfaction of the basic human physiological needs. Situational factors include actual or perceived threat to self-concept, loss of significant others, threat to biological integrity, change in environment, change in socioeconomic status, and transmission of another person's anxiety to the individual. Other etiologic factors are associated with a threat to completion of developmental tasks at various life stages, for example, a threat to an adolescent in the completion of developmental tasks associated with sexual development, peer relationships, and independence.

Interventions. Measures to assist the individuals suffering from anxiety are aimed at helping them recognize their anxiety and their usual means of coping with it, and providing alternate, more healthful coping mechanisms that give a sense of physiological and psychological comfort.
anxiety disorders a group of mental disorders in which anxiety is the most prominent disturbance or in which anxiety is experienced if the patient attempts to control the symptoms. Everyone occasionally experiences anxiety as a normal response to a dangerous or unusual situation. In an anxiety disorder, the person feels the same emotion without any apparent reason and cannot identify the source of the threat that produces the anxiety, which actually has its origin in unconscious fears or conflicts.

People with anxiety disorders experience both the subjective emotion and various physical manifestations resulting from muscular tension and autonomic nervous system activity. This can produce a variety of symptoms, including sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, insomnia, loss of appetite, and palpitations. The source of the anxiety lies in unconscious fears, unresolved conflicts, forbidden impulses, or threatening memories. Symptoms are often triggered by an apparently harmless stimulus that the patient unconsciously links with a deeply buried, anxiety-producing experience. Chronic anxiety can lead to various somatic alterations. The onset of anxiety may be gradual or sudden. Some persons experience incapacitating acute anxiety (as in panic disorder) while others manifest their anxiety through avoidant behavior patterns (phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder). Anxiety disorders include: panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, specific phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and substance-induced anxiety disorder.
free-floating anxiety severe, generalized anxiety having no apparent connection to any specific object, situation, or idea.
performance anxiety a social phobia characterized by extreme anxiety and episodes of panic when performance, particularly public performance, is required.
anxiety reaction a reaction characterized by abnormal apprehension or uneasiness; see also anxiety disorders.
separation anxiety apprehension due to removal of significant persons or familiar surroundings, common in infants 12 to 24 months old; see also separation anxiety disorder.
situational anxiety that occurring spcifically in relation to a situation or object.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

free-·float·ing anx·i·e·ty

in psychoanalysis, a pervasive unrealistic expectation unattached to a clearly formulated concept or object of fear; observed particularly in anxiety neurosis and may be seen in some cases of latent schizophrenia.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

free-floating anxiety

Psychiatry Severe, generalized, persistent anxiety not specifically ascribed to a particular object or event and often a precursor of panic
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

free-float·ing an·xi·e·ty

(frēflōt-ing ang-zīĕ-tē)
In psychoanalysis, a pervasive unrealistic expectation unattached to a clearly formulated concept or object of fear; observed particularly in anxiety neurosis and may be seen in some cases of latent schizophrenia.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

free-floating anxiety

Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Free-floating anxiety

Anxiety that lacks a definite focus or content.
Mentioned in: Anxiety
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mt follows from the above discussion that our objectives in encouraging are to help individuals identify consequences of their decisions, define purpose, spur vitality, overcome free-floating anxiety, and try new ways of living, rather than those that would otherwise maintain dependency.
Are we back to those old days of gory killings and free-floating anxiety?
Let's begin our conversation addressing what is out there, palatable and painful--the free-floating anxiety that sales agents of equity indexed annuities are feeling, in part because of SEC 151A bringing the topic of "regulation" of an insurance product to the forefront.
It is a full fifteen minutes before we know what the women are up to, and yet there is something about Otilia's determined gait, the tense set of her shoulders and back, and the way the camera isolates her that generates a sense of free-floating anxiety. As the film goes on, Mungiu alternates between exterior tracking shots--following Otilia through deserted streets as she carries out various tasks that cause her psychological anguish at least commensurate with the actual danger they put her in--and static interiors where everything depends on the actors, particularly on their ability to convey inner feelings and thoughts through glances, body language, and, well, just by thinking and feeling what their characters would under the circumstances.
"There is a lot of free-floating anxiety because the most-likely scenario is that it would be Gannett," says Linda Blackford, a seven-year reporter at the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, one of the guild shops.
Will this same free-floating anxiety and ire among the US millennials find its expression in support for Trump?