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Anxiety: A Short History

by Allan V Horwitz Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
11/2013
ISBN:
9781421410807
Format:
Pbk 208 pages
Price:
AU$59.99 NZ$63.47
Product Status: Title is Print on Demand - May take 4 weeks
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More people today report feeling anxious than ever beforeeven while living in relatively safe and prosperous modern societies. Almost one in five people experiences an anxiety disorder each year, and more than a quarter of the population admits to an anxiety condition at some point in their lives. Here Allan V. Horwitz, a sociologist of mental illness and mental health, narrates how this condition has been experienced, understood, and treated through the agesfrom Hippocrates, through Freud, to today. Anxiety is rooted in an ancient part of the brain, and our ability to be anxious is inherited from species far more ancient than humans. Anxiety is often adaptive: it enables us to respond to threats. But when normal fear yields to what psychiatry categorizes as anxiety disorders, it becomes maladaptive. As Horwitz explores the history and multiple identities of anxiety melancholia, nerves, neuroses, phobias, and so on it becomes clear that every age has had its own anxieties and that culture plays a role in shaping how anxiety is expressed.

Foreword, by Charles E. Rosenberg
Acknowledgments
1. Afraid
2. Classical Anxiety
3. From Medicine to Religion—and Back
4. The Nineteenth Century's New Uncertainties
5. The Freudian Revolution
6. Psychology's Ascendance
7. The Age of Anxiety
8. The Future of Anxiety
Notes
Index

"A highly readable and engaging book in the style of a biography."

Allan V. Horwitz is a professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology and Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers University. He is author of Creating Mental Illness.