The Meaning of Anxiety by Rollo MayRollo May challenges the idea that mental health is living without anxiety, believing it is essential to being human. He explores how it can relieve boredom, sharpen sensibilities, and produce the tension necessary to preserve human existence. May sees a link extending from anxiety to intelligence, creativity, and originality, and guides the reader away from destructive ways to positive ways of dealing with anxiety. He convincingly proposes that anxiety can impel personal change, as it is only by confronting and coping with it that self-realization can occur.
The Meaning of Anxiety
When this important work was originally published in the first book in this country on anxiety-it was hailed as a work ahead of its time. In the revised edition of this now-classic study, the distinguished author of Love and Will deepens his exploration into anxiety theory.
But what, exactly, is anxiety, that pervasive affliction the nature of which remains as drowning yet as elusive as the substance of a shadow? He writes:. Anxiety is a qualification of dreaming spirit, and as such it has its place in psychology. Awake, the difference between myself and my other is posited; sleeping, it is suspended; dreaming, it is an intimated nothing. The actuality of the spirit constantly shows itself as a form that tempts its possibility but disappears as soon as it seeks to grasp for it, and it is a nothing that can only bring anxiety. More it cannot do as long as it merely shows itself.
A very usefull overview about anxiety. The development of an existential psychology in America is in good part the work of Rollo May. He helped bring existentialism to psychology some fifteen years ago, and since then his impact has increased each year. As he says here, he isn't an existentialist in a cultist sense. In American psychology, the existential approach is part of a wider trend which includes many views" Eugene T. Gendlin, Psychology Today.