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3. What is the general philosophy of the course?

Over the centuries much has been written on anxiety from many wide-ranging disciplines, including, but not limited to history, literature, biology, sociology, philosophy, and religion. All perspectives have attempted to wrestle with the question of anxiety, a basic question of existence. This course provides some person’s cumulative experience treating and attempting to understand anxiety. In addition, this texts aims to help you understand more about anxiety by sharing what I and my colleagues have found to be both common and helpful working with and puzzling over anxiety. I cannot claim more of the truth than any other discipline, but I do hope to provide a sense of what goes through our minds in our offices when we attempt to help a patient with anxiety.

Any patient material that we might use in the course is entirely composite; it in no way portrays one particular patient. All of the syndromes and examples used illustrate general principles that occur time and time again in the offices, just as an internist deals repeatedly with chest pain and shortness of breath.

If there is any particular point in the material where a footnote or reference might be useful, I will mention the author and the name of the book and/or article. However, most of the information in the course is widely available both in common textbooks on anxiety or on the World Wide Web. Any particular information quoted is part of the public domain unless otherwise noted; all other individual perspectives are mine, stemming from the aggregate years of discussion and thinking with colleagues and patients about these matters.

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