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

Scott Stossel, Author
Scott Stossel. Knopf, $27.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-307-26987-4
Reviewed on: 10/21/2013
Release date: 01/07/2014
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-6994-4
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-434-01914-4
Hardcover - 416 pages - 978-0-434-02300-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-19044-2
Open Ebook - 282 pages - 978-0-385-35132-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-8041-4890-0
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-307-39060-8
Hardcover - 416 pages - 978-0-09-959206-8
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Stossel, editor of the Atlantic, leads a jittery, searching tour through the most common mental disorder in the world: “a function of biology and philosophy, body and mind, instinct and reason, personality and culture.” As an acutely miserable and anxious 10-year old, Stossel began an early journey through various therapies and medications. His experiences with these treatments doubles as an accidental history of how science, psychotherapy, medicine, and the culture at large have attempted deal with anxiety’s psychological riddle: persistent fear with no “concrete object” of which to be afraid. Stossel’s work features biographical sketches of famous anxiety cases like Charles Darwin and Samuel Johnson, and a rigorous survey of the foundations of anxiety research, from Freud to attachment theory to the “chemical imbalance” model of mental illness, alongside discussions of the biological, neurological, and genetic roots of the condition. Stossel’s journey through his own life is unsparing, darkly funny (a nervous stomach tends to flare up at the worst times, like in front of JFK Jr.), but above all, hopeful. As with many sufferers, Stossel’s quest to find relief is unfinished, but his book relays a masterful understanding of the condition he and millions of others endure. Agent: the Wylie Agency. (Jan.)
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