A riveting, revelatory, 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.
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 Age of Anxiety is learned and empathetic, humorous and inspirational, offering the listener great insight into the biological, cultural, and environmental factors that contribute to the affliction.
©2014 Scott Stossel (P)2014 Random House Audio
"The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why" Mark Twain
I have been a moderately anxious, worry-filled pessimist for most of my life. For me, anxiety has come with its costs (missing out of many otherwise fun and exciting moments in my life, blocking people from seeing the REAL me) and its benefits (always prepared for any situation, overly attuned to social cues), etc. But I have always been skeptical of the reasons why I am this way. Is it chemical? Am I being fooled into a diagnosis by the drug companies? Is this within the realm of normalcy? In My Age of Anxiety, Scott Stossel delves into each of these questions and more.
The book is the most comprehensive and complete narrative of the history, the perceptions, reasons, the social stigmas, and the SCIENCE behind anxiety that I have ever read. And while I won't spoil the story for anyone, knowledge is power, and for me - knowing and recognizing the reasons behind anxiety was therapeutic.
The book is not a casual listen. But if you're interested in learning about anxiety, there will be no more user-friendly, layman's manual on the topic better than this. The narration is easy to listen to, the author is easy to follow, and as I found - he has ample experience with anxiety and its vast array of treatments. This book should be the recommendation of every diagnosing Physician dealing with anxious patients - it helped me out tremendously.
Definitely. I have a relative who struggles with depression and anxiety, and this book gives me much more empathy and understanding for people living with these afflictions.
make no mistake, this book is not just a clinical treatise; it is very personal in its depiction of finding relief from debilitating anxiety of flying, vomiting, and performance.
I enjoyed this narration immensely. It neither added unnecessary "pep" nor lulled me to sleep. It was just a good straight-up reading of this book.
Well worth your time and credit!
When I get a little further from my "age". However this book describes panic, anxiety, and the multitude of issues, still unresolved, with treating and understanding it, better than anything I have ever read/listened too. Gave story 4 stars only because I couldn't finish...left me feeling a bit hopeless while at a low point for myself...will revisit when in better place...
Could be a good tool for those who have a loved one suffering from this, but who don't experience it themselves. In general if a child, grown or not, suffers from anxiety/panic there is one parent if you are lucky(?) that can relate. Going through this, it is nearly impossible to explain to someone who has never neen there.
This is one of the best audiobooks I've heard. The narrator so inhabited the material that it was hard to believe he wasn't telling his own story. I will look for other work by him. The material itself was a great tale of of what is known about chronic anxiety, including the history of our developing understanding and of various modes of treatment, and of the author's own experiences with it (a lot of which are very harrowing, and some of which are funny). The book addresses anxiety both in its routine forms as part of universal human experiences, and in its more extreme and debilitating forms. It is masterfully written. As a sufferer from a more than average level of anxiety, I didn't find a cure but I got increased understanding and comfort from learning of the experiences of others. This book does not go for fake easy answers to any of the issues it covers (and I think some reviewers have criticized it for not doing so). It tells it like it is, is scientifically sound, and is very beautifully done.
I would recommend this to any of my friends who had an interest in biology/genetics/human sciences. It was very informative but kind of science-textbook like in some parts.
Outstanding. Does for anxiety what Andrew Solomon's The Noonday Demon did for depression. Namely, it combines intensely and excruciatingly personal accounts of living with and trying to treat anxiety with an explanation of the medical and scientific view of anxiety over time. A moving and educational combination of memoir and medical/neurological/scientific overview. It helps that the author is a professional writer and, with those tools firmly developed, has the wherewithal to ably describe what anxiety is like for him and for others. I doubt one can walk away from this book without feeling deep empathy for anxiety sufferers and, if you are lucky enough to be mostly free of that curse, grateful that you don't have to navigate life with constant feelings of existential dread. Though the entire book is excellent, one of the later chapters is especially interesting in light of the growing prevalence of anxiety in modern society. That discussion alone is worth the price of admission. Highly recommended.
While I suffer anxiety, my case isn't anywhere in the ballpark as Scott's. but this book gave me hope and so much information that I highly recommend it to anyone who has experienced anxiety or phobias. Very interesting and well worth the time. I feel so educated. Thank you Scott, for being so open and honest.
Beyond the depth of historical, genealogical, commercial, scientific, commercial, and social context, Scott Stossel's personal story frames the topic in human, eye-level terms.
I'm glad for the chance this book has given me to better understand pain, anxiety, depression from the longitudinal, anecdotal, and individual perspectives-- and from my own.
I feel much better equipped to continue learning how to process and manage my own stresses and stress episodes.
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