Title: My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind
Author: Scott Stossel
Publish Date: January 7, 2014
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "As recently as
thirty-five years ago, anxiety did not exist as a diagnostic category.
Today, it is the most common form of officially classified mental
illness. Scott Stossel gracefully guides us across the terrain of an
affliction that is pervasive yet too often misunderstood.
Drawing on his own long-standing battle with anxiety, Stossel presents
an astonishing history, at once intimate and authoritative, of the
efforts to understand the condition from medical, cultural,
philosophical, and experiential perspectives. He ranges from the
earliest medical reports of Galen and Hippocrates, through later
observations by Robert Burton and Søren Kierkegaard, to the
investigations by great nineteenth-century scientists, such as Charles
Darwin, William James, and Sigmund Freud, as they began to explore its
sources and causes, to the latest research by neuroscientists and
geneticists. Stossel reports on famous individuals who struggled with
anxiety, as well as on the afflicted generations of his own family. His
portrait of anxiety reveals not only the emotion’s myriad manifestations
and the anguish anxiety produces but also the countless
psychotherapies, medications, and other (often outlandish) treatments
that have been developed to counteract it. Stossel vividly depicts
anxiety’s human toll—its crippling impact, its devastating power to
paralyze—while at the same time exploring how those who suffer from it
find ways to manage and control it."
My Two Cents:
"My Age of Anxiety" is
part memoir, part exploration on what anxiety is and its history.
Anxiety affects many people and is often hidden. I saw Scott Stossel
speak at the 2014 Gaithersburg book Festival and he was speaking about
his book my age of anxiety. His talk really hit home for me because I
also deal with anxiety on a daily basis. It's not particularly fun but
through this book it so that helped me understand what was going on a
little bit more.
As I said, this book is part memoir and part
history of anxiety disorders. Stossel is a great author for this book
because he suffers from extreme anxiety to the point where he has to
self medicate in order to be able to deal with things such as making
speeches. He really puts himself out there so that readers can
understand what it feels like to deal with anxiety and to try to treat
Stossel covers a lot of different angles of anxiety. He
talks about how scientists have tried to figure out why it happens. He
weighs all of his cards out on the table and I realize how difficult
that must be for somebody who has major anxiety. This is an intimate
look at what it means to suffer from this mental on this as well as take
give some context around how scientists are beginning to look at this.
Overall, this book would be a great pick for those that suffer from
anxiety but also those that love someone who deals with anxiety!