The Meaning of Anxiety

The Meaning of Anxiety

Rollo May / Jan 25, 2020

The Meaning of Anxiety Rollo 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 tens

  • Title: The Meaning of Anxiety
  • Author: Rollo May
  • ISBN: 9780393350876
  • Page: 184
  • Format: Paperback
  • Rollo 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 destructiveRollo 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.

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    About "Rollo May"

      • Rollo May

        Rollo May April 21, 1909 October 22, 1994 was an American existential psychologist He authored the influential book Love and Will during 1969.Although he is often associated with humanistic psychology, his philosophy was influenced strongly by existentialist philosophy May was a close friend of the theologian Paul Tillich His works include Love and Will and The Courage to Create, the latter title honoring Tillich s The Courage to Be.BiographyMay was born in Ada, Ohio in 1909 He experienced a difficult childhood, with his parents divorcing and his sister becoming schizophrenic His educational career took him to Michigan State College majoring in English and Oberlin College for a bachelor s degree, teaching for a time in Greece, to Union Theological Seminary for a BD during 1938, and finally to Teachers College, Columbia University for a PhD in clinical psychology during 1949 May was a founder and faculty member of Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center in San Francisco 1 He spent the final years of his life in Tiburon on San Francisco Bay, where he died in October 1994.AccomplishmentsMay was influenced by American humanism, and interested in reconciling existential psychology with other philosophies, especially Freud s.May considered Otto Rank 1884 1939 to be the most important precursor of existential therapy Shortly before his death, May wrote the foreword to Robert Kramer s edited collection of Rank s American lectures I have long considered Otto Rank to be the great unacknowledged genius in Freud s circle, wrote May Rank, 1996, p xi.May used some traditional existential terms in a slightly different fashion than others, and he invented new words for traditional existentialist concepts Destiny, for example, could be thrownness combined with fallenness the part of our lives that is determined for us, for the purpose of creating our lives He also used the word courage to signify resisting anxiety.He defined certain stages of development Innocence the pre egoic, pre self conscious stage of the infant.An innocent is only doing what he or she must do However, an innocent does have a degree of will in the sense of a drive to fulfill needs.Rebellion the rebellious person wants freedom, but does not yet have a good understanding of the responsibility that goes with it.Decision The person is in a transition stage in their life such that they need to be independent from their parents and settle into the ordinary stage In this stage they must decide what to do with their life, and fulfilling rebellious needs from the rebellious stage.Ordinary the normal adult ego learned responsibility, but finds it too demanding, and so seeks refuge in conformity and traditional values.Creative the authentic adult, the existential stage, self actualizing and transcending simple egocentrism.These are not stages in the traditional sense A child may certainly be innocent, ordinary or creative at times an adult may be rebellious The only association with certain ages is in terms of importance rebelliousness is important for a two year old or a teenager.May perceived the sexual s of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as commercialization of sex and pornography, as having influenced society such that people believed that love and sex are no longer associated directly According to May, emotion has become separated from reason, making it acceptable socially to seek sexual relationships and avoid the natural drive to relate to another person and create new life May believed that sexual freedom can cause modern society to neglect important psychological developments May suggests that the only way to remedy the cynical ideas that characterize our times is to rediscover the importance of caring for another, which May describes as the opposite of apathy.His first book, The Meaning of Anxiety, was based on his d


    205 Comments

    1. This book discussed the intrapsychic implications of anxiety. It draws much of its analysis on the phenomenon of anxiety from the philosophical (specifically Kierkegaard's), psychoanalytic, and cultural perspectives. I consider it to be a reflection of May's orientation, which is geared towards the Existential-psychoanalysis school.Although it focused much of its discussion on the origins and implications of anxiety, the most important part of the book is its proposal on how to use anxiety const [...]


    2. May's concept of 'pseudo-innocence; in his book, 'Power and Innocence', stayed with me. It occurs to me that such 'innocence' is a defence against anxieties (the existential, the psychological, the biological), a cerebral pattern-making that can look not only elaborate, almost aesthetically superior, but also ethically positive and admirable, while all the time such pseudo-innocence allows for abnegation of responsibilities, refusal of personal growth and the defaulted individual contribution to [...]


    3. The Meaning of Anxiety uses an interdisciplinary approach to the topic of anxiety. May's central idea is anxiety is part of the human condition, and instead of avoiding or repressing it, anxiety can be used constructively. In part I, May covers modern interpretations of anxiety, starting in various domains in the mid 2oth century, then in the context of philosophy , biology, psychology, psychotherapy, culture, and synthesizes all of it. I enjoyed certain sections more than others, but it's inter [...]


    4. Although it is one of hardest book i ever read, it is also one of the most important books i ever read speaks about anxiety phenomena i got a lot of information from it about difference between fear & neutral anxiety and neurotic anxiety and many others. i liked that Rollo May back to other psychologists and philosophers in this book like Karin Horny, Kerikgaurd and a lot as a resources, so he covers the topic from different points of view.The cases studies is good but the conclusions and th [...]


    5. um clássico. altamente especulativo e sintético. as especulações, de fundo psicanalítico, são basicamente inúteis. mas as sínteses culturais, filosóficas e psicológicas, inclusive das teorias psicanalíticas, são valiosas. e Rollo May escreve bem. quem estuda/se interessa por ansiedade, precisa ler.


    6. This is May's break-out work. It really is the root of modern American existentialism. TL;DR: anxiety is of value. We are anxious for some reason, not for no reason. Moreover, aggressing against the anxiety is self-aggression and unlikely to result in improvement.


    7. Rolling May attempts to create a complete picture of anxiety, by looking at it through various lenses. I love the idea. I picked up this book when I was suffering from what would probably be considered extremely mild social anxiety. I was feeling very awkward in various social functions, and felt dissatisfied by a lot of my interactions, so I thought I’d see what rollo may had to say about anxiety in the hopes that I could do something differently and feel less awkward.After just one chapter, [...]



    8. La ansiedad tiene un porqué existe, bien manejada, nos puede alertar de problemas y de tomar buenas decisiones, sin embargo, también puede convertirse en una enfermedad.Este libro muestra la ansiedad desde diversas perspectivas: como una patología, como algo psicosomático, como algo existencial; todo con el uso de casos en los cuales podremos aprender cómo manejar mejor este sentir.


    9. About halfway through, and I've gotten a good, helpful taste of the author's thoughts on anxiety, primarily that it is a sign of needed change and POWER THROUGH, that anxiety is a sign that something needs to shift. I needed that.


    10. This author is timelessI liked the historical perspective within the text. I was impressed by the case examples as well. I only wished I had read it sooner.


    11. Anxiety comes from not being able to know the world you are in, not being able to orient yourself in your own existence. One's sense of self is threatened.


    12. Unless you're a student of psychoanalysis or totally fascinated by the subject, you will only get bits and pieces of understanding by this. Filled with case studies.





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