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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

HIGH ANXIETY!

Suffering from an anxiety disorder is clearly something to worry about! Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, vomiting, sweating, trembling and assorted other unpleasant sensations. And finding any effective treatment for the condition is a challenge at best.

I recently read a fascinating article about anxiety and shortly after listened to an audiobook about the disorder.

Both authors give a humorous but terrifying picture of their anxiety. They describe the symptoms in extensive detail, as well as the thought processes that go along with the worry. After publishing "Surviving Anxiety" in The Atlantic, Scott Stossel expanded it into a book. My Age of Anxiety presents an extensive overview of scientific and medical research.Cover image for Monkey mind [sound recording] : a memoir of anxiety / Daniel B. Smith.

The second book, Monkey Mind by Daniel Smith, focuses primarily on the author's case history and is a more entertaining read. Smith's story is somewhat unusual because his mother, who also suffered from anxiety, became a therapist who treated many neurotic patients. But even having a mental health professional in the house didn't seem to make a difference.

Stossel and Smith worked with many therapists, tried numerous medications and attempted assorted alternative remedies. Unfortunately, almost nothing helped. Nevertheless, they both are married, have successful careers, and, most importantly to library fans, they now both have best-selling books.

For a less personal approach to anxiety, an excellent overview of the condition, Generalized Anxiety Disorder* can be found in Health A-Z a database published by Harvard, which is part of MCPL's online Health and Wellness Resource Center.


While researching the topic of anxiety, I came across what could be part of the solution. If we try to find humor in life, as these authors have, then perhaps, indeed, "Laughter is the Best Medicine." And, if you're a worrier, instead of reading one of these accounts of a stress-filled life, or maybe in addition to that, a book of jokes might just be an antidote for anxiety!


Barbara S

*You may be prompted to sign-in with your MCPL card and pin to access this article.

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