The Problem of Anxiety
  • Helen Block Lewis
Part of the Emotions, Personality, and Psychotherapy book series (EPPS, volume 1)


In his analysis of the case of Little Hans, Freud (1909a) extended his hypothesis that the symptoms of hysteria are transformations of forbidden sexual longings to phobic symptoms as well. In fact, it was Freud who first suggested (1909a, p. 115) that phobia be named “anxiety-hysteria”1 because of the similarity between the psychological structure of phobia and hysteria, namely, that both are products of transformed libido. The single but decisive difference that Freud observed between hysteria and phobia is that in phobia the transformed libido is “set free” in the form of another affect, anxiety, while in hysteria it is “converted” from the “mental sphere into a somatic innervation” (p. 115).


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Block Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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