automatic anxiety

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In psychoanalysis, an infant's psychological feeling of helplessness, arising from biological helplessness, experienced as a form of anxiety, or a reproduction of such anxiety in an older child or an adult when confronted with a situation with which it is difficult to cope. The concept was introduced by Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) in his book Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety (1926, Standard Edition, XX, pp. 77–175, at p. 138). See also anxiety.

Subjects: Psychology.

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