Joining the ranks of such acclaimed accounts as Manic, Brain on Fire, and Monkey Mind is a deeply personal, funny, and sometimes painful look at anxiety and its impact from writer and commentator Kat Kinsman.
Feeling anxious? Can't sleep because your brain won't stop recycling thoughts? Unable to make a decision because you're too afraid you'll make the wrong one? You're not alone.
In Hi, Anxiety, beloved food writer, editor, and commentator Kat Kinsman expands on the high-profile pieces she wrote for CNN.com about depression and its wicked cousin, anxiety. Taking us back to her adolescence, when she was diagnosed with depression at 14, Kat speaks eloquently, with pathos and humor, about her skin-picking, hand-flapping "nervousness" that made her the recipient of many a harsh taunt. With her mother also gripped by depression and health issues throughout her life, Kat came to live in a constant state of unease - that she would fail, that she would never find love, that she would end up just like her mother.
Now, as a successful media personality, Kat still battles anxiety every day. That anxiety manifests in strange and deeply personal ways. But as she found when she started to write about her struggles, Kat is not alone in feeling like the simple act of leaving the house or getting a haircut can be crippling. And though periodic medication, counseling, a successful career, and a happy marriage have brought her relief, the illness - because that is what anxiety is - remains.
Exploring how millions are affected by anxiety, Hi, Anxiety is a clarion call for everyone - but especially women - struggling with this condition. Though she is a strong advocate for seeking medical intervention, Kinsman implores those suffering to come out of the shadows, to talk about their battles openly and honestly. With humor, bravery, and writing that brings best sellers like Laurie Notaro and Jenny Lawson to mind, Hi, Anxiety tackles a difficult subject with amazing grace.
©2016 Kit Kinsman (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
If you see yourself in the unsparingly detailed stories Kat shares, you will find comfort and laughter in a friend who understands the heartbreak (and sometimes hilarity) that anxiety has brought into your life.
If you instead recognize loved one, you will gain greater insight and compassion for their struggle, moment to moment.
I'm grateful that she wrote this book. I feel more forgiving toward myself. I feel known and understood. I feel grateful for my loved ones, and for the fears that have quieted and for the fears I never had to battle.
I was already pretty open about depression, but anxiety may indeed carry more of a stigma. It makes me feel guilty, something like weakness and ingratitude. I want to remember Kat's strength and grateful spirit, which defy the two negative labels.
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