WHO: Scott Stossel
WHAT: MY AGE OF ANXIETY:
Fear, Hope, and the Search for Peace of Mind
WHEN: Published by Knopf January 9, 2014
WHERE: The author lives in Washington DC.
WHY: “Powerful, eye-opening, and funny.
“In this captivating and intimate book, the editor of the Atlantic spares no detail about his lifelong struggle with anxiety and contextualizes his personal experience within the history of anxiety’s perception and treatment.
“According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in seven Americans currently suffers from some form of anxiety. Stossel, whose assorted phobias and neuroses began to manifest when he was a toddler, provides an exceptionally relatable and frequently hilarious account of a modern sufferer: the endless combinations of therapy and drugs, pharmaceutical and otherwise; the inevitable mishaps of a public figure who is terrified of flying, enclosed spaces and speaking in public; the delicate negotiation between managing psychological torment and being a husband and father.
“Alongside these anecdotes—one of which, involving the Kennedy family, is laugh-out-loud funny—the author explores how anxiety has affected humans for centuries and how there is still no ‘cure.’ Instead, anxiety is a ‘riddle’ with very personal and diverse factors and symptoms, and it affects people from all walks of life. Many great minds, including Freud and Darwin, documented their battles with anxiety. They also experimented with chemical interventions, testimony of a long history of sought-after relief from anxiety’s debilitating effects.
“Stossel deftly explores a variety of treatments and their risks and successes, providing unique insight as both a journalist (whose priority is impartial investigation) and sufferer (whose imperative is to feel well). Throughout, the author’s beautiful prose and careful research combine to make this book informative, thoughtful and fun to read.
“Pitch-perfect in his storytelling, Stossel reminds us that, in many important ways, to be anxious is to be human.” —KIRKUS, a starred review
“Absolutely fearless writing.
“Tying together notions about anxiety culled from history, philosophy, religion, sports, and literature with current neuropsychiatric research and his extensive personal experience, Stossel’s book is more than an astounding autobiography, more than an atlas of anxiety. His deft handling of a delicate topic and frustrating illness highlights the existential dread, embarrassment, and desperation associated with severe anxiety yet allows room for resiliency, hope, and transcendence.”
—Tony Miksanek, in a starred review for BOOKLIST
“A jittery, searching tour through the most common mental disorder in the world. Stossel’s book relays a masterful understanding of the condition he and million others endure.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
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