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The Origins of Anxiety

By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
Associate Editor

The Origins of AnxietyAccording to author and psychiatrist Jeffrey P. Kahn, M.D., in his book Angst: Origins of Anxiety & Depression, today’s disorders might’ve been yesterday’s valuable social instincts.

Today’s panic disorder might’ve prevented our ancestors from venturing to potentially dangerous places, far away from their families and tribes.

Today’s social anxiety might’ve maintained social hierarchies and peace in primitive times.

Today’s obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) might’ve helped our ancestors keep tidy and safe nests.

3 Comments to
The Origins of Anxiety

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  1. Interesting theory, though I had to laugh at the typical reference to those with OCD wanting order and cleanliness in their lives. My son (who has OCD) had (and still often has) the messiest room around. His OCD, like many other sufferers, never centered around cleanliness or order,and this is an often misunderstood aspect of OCD. OCD is not about the need for order, it is about the need for certainty, which of course, can never be achieved. Thankfully, as you say, OCD is treatable, and I talk about my son’s amazing journey back to good health on my blog.

  2. Interesting piece. It all relates to the primal fear of humans, which is a good thing that prevents us from gettin hurt or make us run from danger. The problem with nowadays is that there is another fear, a more invisible one, because it reacts to a perceived danger: stress, memories etc. So we feel anxious or panicky for no apparent reason

  3. Well, the first time I had a major attack they put me on xanax but it messed with my head really badly and I had memory issues. My discharge papers noted that while medicated by it I had little to no acknowledgement of externally inflicted bodily harm/pain. What I do remember is waking up the next day with a swollen ankle and multiple bruises that hurry like hell from walking into things or just letting the car door close on me.
    Later, someone recommended me this treatment, and I’m very grateful with it, i can go anywhere i want without problem, no anxiety, no panic attacks, i’m a new person. Read this article, it helped me a lot :

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