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Publisher's Summary

A celebrated science and health reporter offers a wry, bracingly honest account of living with anxiety.

A racing heart. Difficulty breathing. Overwhelming dread. Andrea Petersen was first diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at the age of 20, but she later realized that she had been experiencing panic attacks since childhood. With time her symptoms multiplied. She agonized over every odd physical sensation. She developed fears of driving on highways, going to movie theaters, even licking envelopes. Although having a name for her condition was an enormous relief, it was only the beginning of a journey to understand and master it - one that took her from psychiatrists' offices to yoga retreats to the Appalachian Trail.

Woven into Petersen's personal story is a fascinating look at the biology of anxiety and the groundbreaking research that might point the way to new treatments. She compares psychoactive drugs to nondrug treatments, including biofeedback and exposure therapy. And she explores the role that genetics and the environment play in mental illness, visiting top neuroscientists and tracing her family history - from her grandmother, who, plagued by paranoia, once tried to burn down her own house, to her young daughter, in whom Petersen sees shades of herself.

Brave and empowering, this is essential listening for anyone who knows what it means to live on edge.

©2017 Andrea Petersen (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"In On Edge, Andrea Petersen paints a vivid picture of how anxiety has affected her work, romantic relationships, and experience as a parent. We see not only the ways in which her anxiety has held her back, but also how it has led her to live a richer, more authentic life. This brave, hopeful, sensitive account, grounded in the latest neuroscience, will be both enlightening and comforting to the millions who struggle with anxiety." (Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking )
"With a clever mix of science and story, Petersen reveals her search for the roots of her life-long struggle with anxiety. On Edge is both moving and informative, and recommended for those who suffer for similar reasons, as well as those who are simply curious about the workings of the mind." (Joseph LeDoux, university professor and professor of neural science at New York University; author of Anxious)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant

Most books about anxiety are crap but this one is cogent, precise, compassionate and relatable.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

love this book

This book helped me learn more about my anxiety as well as the different extremes of anxiety.
I loved how the author provided studies and professionals opinions and then related it to her life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Admirable Work

Peterson narrates her own story and does an excellent job keeping a steady, measured pace in relaying details of events that obviously terrified her at the time. Surely not everyone can read their own work. She has a good voice, and could read other stories too.

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Good but not what I expected.

Although the book was very good, it was more of an autobiography and medication information than an insight to to self help for panic and anxiety. The book was very relatable, just not what I was looking for.

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A whole new look at my anxiety and other's

I couldnt stop listening to this book. Andrea had me hooked from the beginning! This turned out to be the most wonderful mixture of story telling and research. I recommend this for anyone who is trying to understand anxiety better, either for yourself, others, or both! I am sad it is over, and so glad I listened to it! If you listen to it, and find moments triggering I promise its worth it to see it all the way through.

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want to feel worse about your anxiety?

this will make you feel even worse about your anxiety. Disgusting. Not helpful at all.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Stephen Ball
  • Stephen Ball
  • 05-30-17

Not for a english man!!

Would you try another book written by Andrea Petersen or narrated by Andrea Petersen?

NO

Would you ever listen to anything by Andrea Petersen again?

NO

What about Andrea Petersen’s performance did you like?

WHomever spoke the book was good. The story and solution was just not for me. An american middle class women would benifit

1 of 3 people found this review helpful