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Anxiety (Ideas in Psychoanalysis)
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What is the function of anxiety in the development of the human personality? Anxiety is a warning signal that danger is present and that overwhelming emotions may be felt, giving rise to unmanageable helplessness. The danger may be perceived as arising from external or internal sources, and be the conscious response to a variety of powerful phantasies in the unconscious mind. The study of anxiety is at the root of psychoanalytic explorations of the human condition. This book traces how it has been conceived by psychoanalysts from Freud to the present day. Following Freud's original conceptions, Melanie Klein differentiated two major distinctions in the quality of anxiety: persecutory and depressive anxiety. Since then, Wilfred's Bion's ideas about containment of mental pain have become central to current psychoanalytic thinking, as has work arising from attachment theory and neuroscience which places emotional regulation at the heart of human development.
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