Peplau’s four levels of Anxiety


  • A feeling of discomfort and apprehension related to fear of impending danger. The individual may be unaware of the source of their anxiety, but it is often accompanied by feelings of uncertainty and helplessness.
  • Anxiety is common, and it can be both positive or negative

Peplau’s four levels of Anxiety

  • Mild anxiety- It is associated with the tension experienced in response to the events of day-to-day living.
  • Moderate anxiety- an individual is less alert to events occurring within the environment. The individual’s attention span and ability to concentrate decrease, although he or she may still attend to needs with direction.
  • Severe anxiety- Attention span is extremely limited, and the individual has difficulties completing even the simplest task. Physical symptoms (e.g., headaches, palpitations, insomnia) and emotional symptoms (e.g., confusion, dread, horror) may be evident
  • Panic anxiety- Associated with a feeling of terror, and individuals may be convinced that they have a life-threatening illness or fear that they are “going crazy,” are losing control, or are emotionally weak. Behavior may be characterized by wild and desperate actions or extreme withdrawal.


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