Born in 1902, Fritz Riemann was a German psychologist, psychoanalyst, astrologer, and author.
He is best known for his work on anxiety, which eventually led to the publication of the book of the same name: Anxiety.
Big Idea: Conflicting Needs
Fritz Riemann argued that mental problems are not caused by the presence of fears. It's caused by the imbalance caused by fears.
All the time, the brain is troubled with conflicting needs. On the one hand, we want to be individuals. To self-actualize ourselves. To pursue what we want. On the other hand, we are afraid of being lonely. Thus, we strive to fit in.
Fritz calls this "the need to be an individual versus the need to be part of a group". The fears that emerge from this conflict are fear of commitment and fear of loneliness and self-actualization.
If we are afraid of being left alone, we'll attach ourselves to a person. Idealize them and become dependent on them.
Conversely, afraid that we won't achieve our personal goals. We'll focus on aggressively pursuing only what we want, which will eventually lead us to be by ourselves.
The point is to not let your fears and your desires become dominant - mentally unhealthy. It's all about balance.