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

“In this captivating and intimate book, the editor of the Atlantic spares no detail about his lifelong struggle with anxiety and contextualizes his personal experience within the history of anxiety’s perception and treatment….Stossel deftly explores a variety of treatments and their risks and successes, providing unique insight as both a journalist (whose priority is impartial investigation) and sufferer (whose imperative is to feel well). Throughout, the author’s beautiful prose and careful research combine to make this book informative, thoughtful and fun to read. Powerful, eye-opening and funny. Pitch perfect in his storytelling, Stossel reminds us that, in many important ways, to be anxious is to be human.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Tying together notions about anxiety culled from history, philosophy, religion, sports, and literature with current neuropsychiatric research and his extensive personal experience, Stossel’s book is more than an astounding autobiography, more than an atlas of anxiety. His deft handling of a delicate topic and frustrating illness highlights the existential dread, embarrassment, and desperation associated with severe anxiety yet allows room for resiliency, hope, transcendence. Absolutely fearless writing.” —Booklist (starred review)

“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.” —Publishers Weekly

“Enthralling…an extraordinary literary performance….It is also—I hope I don’t sound like a publicist—extremely useful….In an age inundated by memoirs and psychic self-help books, My Age of Anxiety is the rare memoir that tells an entirely compelling story, and the rare self-help book that really helps. You, and many thousands of readers along with you, will laugh until you cry.” —Bookforum

“Scott Stossel’s erudite, heartfelt, and occasionally darkly funny meld of memoir, cultural history, and science, feels excruciatingly relevant….Stossel, the editor of The Atlantic, is a wry, if distressed, chronicler of his own history and that of psychopharmacology. It’s been a long and in many ways frightening journey for him. Still, near the end of the book, in a chapter titled ‘Redemption,’ Stossel attempts to see the upside of anxiety—the links between it and creativity, productivity, morality. His therapist advises him to give himself more credit for being resilient, and it seems he does. He concludes with hope that ‘admitting my shame and fear to the world’ will ultimately be ‘empowering and anxiety reducing.’ We hope so, too.” —Amy Bloom, O Magazine

“Scott Stossel has produced the definitive account of anxiety, weaving together science, history, and autobiography. His writing is evocative and often witty, disarmingly intimate, and wonderfully empathetic. This story has needed to be told, and Stossel tells it with edgy frankness.” —Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon

“Scott Stossel is a wreck, but he’s a gorgeous wreck: honest, curious, compassionate, and obsessively, almost neurotically, well-informed. He’s gone deep into the history and science of anxiety and produced an invaluable work, full of compelling detail and truly hard-won wisdom. I learned a great deal from this wonderful book.” —Daniel Smith, author of Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety

“Most of us at some point have suffered from anxiety. Some of us have felt it severely; others have felt it often. But an unlucky few—like Scott Stossel—live with minds that are constant storm-tossed seas of dread and shame. It could not have been easy for Stossel to dissect his own anxiety so honestly in this memoir. But he was brave as hell to write it, and I’m glad he did, for he brings to this story depth, intelligence, and perspective that could enlighten untold fellow sufferers for years to come.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

“Fascinating and hugely entertaining, Scott Stossel’s My Age of Anxiety is a brilliant look into one of the most prevalent conditions of our time. An intense, incredibly brave narrative tinged with moments of outright hilarity, it’s impossible to put down; anyone who has ever suffered even the mildest bout of anxiety is going to be captivated by the author’s quest to understand the sometimes twisted workings of his own mind. Without a doubt, Stossel is one of the most screwed up individuals I have ever encountered-and this book is one of the best I have read in years.” —Ben Mezrich, author of the New York Times Bestsellers The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down The House

“What adjectives shall I use to describe Scott Stossel’s My Age of Anxiety? ‘Brave,’ certainly. ‘Erudite’ and ‘trenchant’ also come quickly to mind. But for those of us who suffer from anxiety—and for families, friends and colleagues—maybe the single most important description is ‘useful.’ This book is staggeringly, brilliantly, indispensably useful.” —Joshua Wolf Shenk, author of Lincoln’s Melancholy

“A combination of rich intellectual history and emotionally raw memoir, My Age of Anxiety is smart, poignant, and deep. A beautifully written, expertly researched, and unflinchingly honest account of one person’s battle and many people’s war. Highly recommended.” —Daniel Gilbert, Edgar Peirce Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, author of the international bestseller Stumbling on Happiness

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