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Rangell, L. (1968). A Further Attempt to Resolve the "Problem of Anxiety". J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 16:371-404.

(1968). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 16:371-404

A Further Attempt to Resolve the "Problem of Anxiety"

Leo Rangell, M.D.

IT WAS NO ACCIDENT or matter of semantic choice that one of the translations of Freud's classic Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety(22) bore quite another title, The Problem of Anxiety(21). This translation, authorized by Freud, was an indication of what might have been an alternative title and pointed to the heart and center of the work. For although Freud dealt with a wide range of crucial and central issues, with resistances, repressions, and defense, with pain and mourning as well as anxiety, with differences between realistic and neurotic anxiety, and with inhibitions and symptom formation, his central theme and preoccupation throughout were the theoretical problems involved in the genesis of anxiety itself.

Although the question of anxiety was a major concern of Freud's and appeared prominently in his writings from the beginning to the end of his work, the nature of his thinking on the subject was relatively steady, and clustered around only two major nodal, theoretical points during the whole history of its development.

The first idea appeared early, around 1894-1895 (15), (16).

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