Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
Rational therapy requires accurate diagnosis. When we apply this precept to anxiety a fundamental question arises. Is anxiety an illness in terms of the now berated medical model which holds that an illness has a cause, a natural history, and hopefully a cure? Or is anxiety a basic aspect of the human condition, an innate pattern of response which becomes pathological when stress, induced by physiologic and social forces, is magnified out of proportion to the original stimulus? If the latter is true, then stress and social interactions are the causative factors, the anxiety only a reaction. Logically then, the condition of anxiety can be modified by alleviating stress or changing the social environment. Although there is no definitive answer to this major question concerning the nature of anxiety, we would like to present briefly some of the present knowledge about it.
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