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The Meaning of Anxiety

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  214 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In the revised edition of this now-classic study, the distinguished author of Love and Will deepens his exploration into anxiety theory. Dr. May challenges the idea that mental health means living without anxiety, and he explores anxiety's potential for self-realization as well as ways to avoid its destructive aspects.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 17th 1996 by W. W. Norton Company (first published January 1st 1977)
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Feb 27, 2016 Maica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, rollo-may
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
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 ...more
Nov 18, 2014 Justin rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
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
Abner Huertas
Oct 04, 2015 Abner Huertas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Brendan Howard
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.
John L Shasteen
Aug 29, 2016 John L Shasteen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This author is timeless

I liked the historical perspective within the text. I was impressed by the case examples as well. I only wished I had read it sooner.
Apr 11, 2008 Spiderfingers rated it liked it
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.
Jason Claus
Great look at anxiety. Rollo May is one of the best authors on Existential Psychology.
Bill Bunn
Jun 30, 2012 Bill Bunn marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
On a Rollo May jag. It's the next in line....
Natacha Rodrigues
Mar 15, 2013 Natacha Rodrigues rated it it was amazing
A very usefull overview about anxiety.
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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
More about Rollo May...

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“Anxiety has a purpose. Originally the purpose was to protect the existence of the caveman from wild beasts and savage neighbors. Nowadays the ocassions for anxiety are very different - we are afraid of losing out in the competition, feeling unwanted, isolated, and ostracized. But the purpose of anxiety is still to protect us from dangers that threaten the same things: our existence or values that we identify with our existence. This normal anxiety of life cannot be avoided except at the price of apathy or the numbing of one's sensibilities and imagination.” 7 likes
“One has to remain detached in order to triumph over others” 5 likes
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