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Évelyne Mollard

Fear of Everything

At some time in our lives, we have all experienced a feeling of anxiety and high tension linked to the fear of what is to come. One imagines the worst and begins building worst-case scenarios and inventing solutions. Fortunately, such mental states are usually short-lived and life soon goes back to normal.
But sometimes the state of extreme apprehension sets in, in a lasting manner. Then, the sufferer’s entire life becomes dominated by the fear of the morrow, and every day becomes a battle against real or, more often, imagined worries. This state is described as one of generalised anxiety.
What can be done when feelings of anxiety become so recurrent and so intense? Why do the tactics that are spontaneously used in such cases prove to be useless and, even, counter-productive? What are the best responses for the chronic sufferer from anxiety?
What can be done so that he or she finds some peace and tranquility of mind?

Évelyne Mollard is a psychologist practising within a unit for the treatment of anxiety in Lyon’s Neurology Hospital. She teaches at the University of Lyon I.