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My Age of Anxiety

Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind
Stossel, Scott (Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
My Age of Anxiety
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The author recounts his lifelong battle with anxiety, showing the many manifestations of the disorder as well as the countless treatments that have been developed to counteract it, and provides a history of the efforts to understand this common form of mental illness.
Authors: Stossel, Scott
Title: My age of anxiety
fear, hope, dread, and the search for peace of mind
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, [2013]
Edition: First edition
Characteristics: viii, 400 pages ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Scott Stossel
Contents: The riddle of anxiety
The nature of anxiety
What do we talk about when we talk about anxiety?
A history of my nervous stomach
A rumbling in the belly
Performance anxiety
Drugs
"A sack of enzymes"
A brief history of panic; or, how drugs created a new disorder
Medication and the meaning of anxiety
Nurture versus nature
Separation anxiety
Worriers and warriors, the genetics of anxiety
Ages of anxiety
Redemption and resilience
Redemption
Resilience
Summary: The author recounts his lifelong battle with anxiety, showing the many manifestations of the disorder as well as the countless treatments that have been developed to counteract it, and provides a history of the efforts to understand this common form of mental illness.
ISBN: 9780307269874
0307269876
9780307390608
0307390608
9780385351324
Branch Call Number: 616.8522 S8883m 2013
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages 365-383) and index
Subject Headings: Stossel, Scott Mental health Anxiety Anxiety Chemotherapy Anxiety disorders Epidemiology Tranquilizing drugs Social aspects
Topical Term: Anxiety
Anxiety
Anxiety disorders
Tranquilizing drugs
LCCN: 2013006336
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Opinion

From Library Staff

Everything you always wanted to know about anxiety! Scott Stossel traces both the history of anxiety in general and his own lifelong battle with it in this highly informative and entertaining book.

A riveting, revealing, and moving account of the author’s struggles with anxiety, and of the history of efforts by scientists, philosophers, and writers to understand the condition. If you suffer from anxiety, or know someone who does, this book is a must read.


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Jul 26, 2014
  • writermala rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Whether you suffer from anxiety, or have a loved one who does, or are just curious as to what it's all about this is the right place to start looking. Stossel, in a no holds barred account of his own battle with anxiety explores the problem thoroughly and from the dawn of time. The book is replete with quotes like, "Anxiety is the most prominent mental characteristic of Occidental civilization." Stossel himself, with the help of his anxiety defines anxiety as "apprehension about future suffering - the fearful anticipation of an unbearable catastrophe one is hopeless to prevent." He attributes the blame to our abundance of choices. The paradox of choice is the idea that as the freedom to choose increases, so does anxiety.
This thorough examination of anxiety and its causes is bound to set many of us free from guilt about a condition we have no control over.

Apr 24, 2014
  • Jane60201 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This seemed like such a long book and having read the Atlantic article by this author, I was loath to tackle it. I am glad I did. What I found interesting was not the vignettes of the author's own life but the intellectual history of mental illness that he so carefully researched. It makes one understand that the current "explanation" of a psychiatric problem is not necessarily the answer but part of an evolution of thought that will continue.

Feb 13, 2014
  • MaxineML rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Part memoir, part history and part exposition - this is a wide-reaching and phenomenal work on anxiety (and various other "nervous disorders") in modern society.

From ancient greek physicians and philosophers, to renaissance works on mental health, to the creation of the DSM versions 1 through 5, Stossel covers everything. The really fascinating aspects to the story were when Stossel brought it down to the personal level with discussions of his great-grandfather's struggle with anxiety, and his own lifelong struggle with anxiety.

The footnotes in this book are astounding in the information they give - some of them could probably have been integrated into the text itself, some were excellent asides. Parts of the book did get a bit technical and dry, but those were few and far between. However, I wish Stossel had been more comfortable discussing his own issues and treatments - this would have humanized the idea of anxiety, as well as the true struggles of people who have this disorder, as well as those with similar mental-health struggles.

Truly a great work - and I wouldn't be surprised if this is considered one of the best non-fiction books of 2014!

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