“The problem of anxiety is a nodal point at which the most various and important questions converge, a riddle whose solution would be bound to throw a flood of light on our whole mental existence.” (Freud)
Your raising the question of anxiety is sure to provoke anxiety in those who prefer to refer to diagnostic category-objects. Far from being objectless (or due to object-loss), it was Lacan who reminded us that anxiety arises in the presence of the object of desire. This is confusing unless we understand that for Lacan the object is always the fantasy that emerges at the moment of (its) loss. The object is a transversal linkage that commemorates a relation, so that transitional, partial, part, and self objects (not to mention clothes, cars, and books) are only so many remains of an overwhelming real jouissance (ecstasy-enjoyment) from which we all come. Strategies differ among individuals as to how to cope with the fundamental “bipolar” relation of isolation/fusion and its concomitant anxiety which you refer to through so many clinicians, and in psychosis the anxiety and the strategies are extreme.
Anxiety is so much the experience of the truth of humanity (as well as the core of symptoms) that we should not forget that these issues were negotiated in other cultures through rituals which we no longer possess:
“The anxiety of the neurotic individual is the same as that of the saint. The neurotic, the saint are engaged in the same battle. Their blood flows from similar wounds. But the first one gasps and the other one gives.
What chance demands of men: friendship.
But anxiety? shameful old hag at whom one refuses even to spit!” (Bataille)
For Bataille anxiety is what remains as we hold back our isolation even in the presence of our desire to connect – the solution being communication or communion, for “death can only strike the isolated being” whereas “anxiety communicated turns into glory.” Clinically this would call on us to move further away from an object-oriented interpretation-based approach toward a relational analytic communion sketched out by Lacan and Bion in their later work.
Roberto Harari “Lacan’s Seminar on Anxiety”
Georges Bataille “Inner Experience”
Sigmund Freud “Introductory Lectures”