DEAR DOCTOR K: I endured some physical and emotional abuse as a child. Could this explain why I struggle with anxiety as an adult?
DEAR READER: Sigmund Freud and many other psychiatrists surely thought so. Indeed, exploring the experiences of childhood is an important part of psychoanalysis. This view did not think that childhood experiences could actually make physical changes in brain chemistry, however. Instead, it imagined an unchanged brain that simply was given unusually difficult experiences to cope with.