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My Age of Anxiety Audiobook

My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Daniel 01-06-17
    Daniel 01-06-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Great book for medical/psychology students"

    Very theoretical and historical. I had almost given up several times. I have anxiety, but if anything the book gave me ideas for more phobias. I did enjoy the first chapters as they were more personal. I think that the book is perhaps better for those who want to understand the issue rather than those who suffer from it.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth A. Delaney 06-11-15

    elizabethamber

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    "Dry. Like a text book."
    What would have made My Age of Anxiety better?

    I thought this would be a personal story based on the description but the personal part was barely a chapter. Then it was like sitting through the most boring college lectures you could imagine. I couldn't keep listening.


    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Logan, Utah 03-04-14
    Ryan Logan, Utah 03-04-14

    "The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why" Mark Twain

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    "A must read for anxiety suffers"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    18 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 08-21-14
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 08-21-14
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    "Complex, informative, personal"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What does Michael Goldstrom bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth your time and credit!

    5 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GBBMOA 11-30-14
    GBBMOA 11-30-14
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    "Somewhat anxiety provoking itself."
    Would you listen to My Age of Anxiety again? Why?

    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...


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheri Foresthill, CA, United States 03-13-14
    Sheri Foresthill, CA, United States 03-13-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was well researched and very personal. A big thank you to Scott Stossel for endeavoring to take on this project and finding the courage to be so honest about his own struggles. It was very helpful to me to view my own anxiety in context and find hope.

    3 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Yates 07-23-16
    S. Yates 07-23-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Excellent memoir and scientific/medical overview"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
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    csk Alameda, CA 08-15-14
    csk Alameda, CA 08-15-14 Member Since 2004
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    "Great audiobook"

    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.

    2 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hannah 08-17-16
    Hannah 08-17-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Very Informative but slightly dry"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Rubinson 09-09-16
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    "Exceeded expectations"

    This book was extremely well written and researched. I highly recommend to anyone who has struggled with anxiety.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful

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