Quotation by Erik H. Erikson

We must learn to differentiate between fears and anxieties. Fears are states of apprehension which focus on isolated and recognizable dangers so that they may be judiciously appraised and realistically countered. Anxieties are diffuse states of tension (caused by a loss of mutual regulation and a consequent upset in libidinal and aggressive controls) which magnify and even cause the illusion of an outer danger, without pointing to appropriate avenues of defense or mastery. These two forms of apprehension obviously often occur together, and we can insist on a strict separation only for the sake of the present argument. If, in an economic depression, a man is afraid that he may lose his money, his fear may be justified. But if the idea of having to live on an income only ten times, instead of twenty-five times as large as that of his average fellow-citizen causes him to lose his nerve and to commit suicide, then we must consult our clinical formulas.
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