A riveting, revelatory and moving account of one man's battle with anxiety, and a history of the efforts to understand the condition.
As recently as 35 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. His portrait of anxiety reveals not only anxiety's myriad manifestations and the anguish it 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 paralyse – while at the same time exploring how those who suffer from it find ways to manage and control it.
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'Unflinchingly honest and written in an accessible style…This is a courageous, entertaining and well-researched book about a condition that is thought to currently affect 15 percent of people in the UK'
A courageous and hilarious journey into the edge of insanity...Stossel's patient, conscientious uncertainity contains more with and sensitivity than a hundred manifestos...an immense achievement'
'He brings to this story depth, intelligence and perspective that could enlighten untold fellow sufferers for years to come'