Anxiety (Biographies of Disease) by Cheryl Winning Ghinassi

By Cheryl Winning Ghinassi

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Because of a difficult early life and his own experience with severe social anxiety, Ellis became an interactive and directive therapist focused on problem solving. He discovered that his patients seemed to be driven by their erroneous interpretations of their experiences, which had an impact on both their emotions and their behavior. Ellis helped his patients identify their irrational and illogical beliefs and replace those 34 Anxiety beliefs with more rational thoughts and action. He also encouraged self-dialogue, whereby patients could learn to challenge their beliefs on their own.

Identifying the connection between the sensory nerves and the brain, he furthered the move away from mystical explanations for aberrant behavior and mental illness. Incorporating the biological humor theory, he posited that cerebral metabolism relied on the balance of the humoral fluxes. With his knowledge of anatomy and concepts of homeostasis (balance), Alcmaeon laid the groundwork for much of the scientific theorizing and exploration that followed. The son of an Asclepian priest on the Greek island of Kos became one of the most revered physicians of all time.

Carroll Izard (1924–) proposed that anxiety is a blend of a variety of emotions, such as distress, anger, sadness, guilt, and shame, along with the predominant basic emotion of fear. He further states that an individual develops an anxious personality when ‘‘inflexible’’ affective-cognitive structures are established through learning and repetition. Neurobiological Theories Walter Cannon (1871–1945) was a Harvard physiologist whose major work focused on the role of physiological changes associated with emotional 36 Anxiety experience.

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