Friday, June 09, 2017

A Journey Through Anxiety
By Andrea Petersen

OVERVIEW: ON EDGE is Andrea Petersen's personal story. It is a fascinating look at the biology of anxiety and the risk factors for anxiety disorders—from overprotective parenting to childhood trauma. She compares psychoactive drugs to non-drug treatments, including biofeedback and CBT. Along the way she surveys the sometimes bizarre treatments for anxiety of past eras. She also explores the role that genetics plays 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. And she describes groundbreaking research that could point the way to new treatments—from MRI neuro-feedback to the use of ketamine (also known as the street drug Special K).

AUTHOR: ANDREA PETERSEN is a contributing writer at the Wall Street Journal, where she reports on psychology, health, and neuroscience. She is the recipient of a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughter.

MY REVIEW: "One in three Americans will have an anxiety disorder at some point during their lives." I have. And I expect I will again. During my forty-seven years as a preaching minister, I counseled many who were suffering from this disorder. I was pleased to find this book so honest and helpful. I agree with author, Maria Konnikova who wrote: "On Edge is a beautiful, often heartbreaking, often funny, always moving account of what it means to experience a degree of anxiety most of us cannot imagine. Andrea Petersen has crafted an engaging blend of memoir and science that will open your eyes—and heart—to a condition that is usually invisible but deserves a broader spotlight. Truly a must-read for anyone who wants to understand mental illness and the effect it can have on our lives."

As I read through the book I kept coming to story after story that made me say, "I've experienced that. Either in myself or somebody else." In chapter one Petersen defines anxiety and then the next seven chapters brings meaning to that definition with story after story. The last chapter is Learning To Live With Anxiety." This is a book you may need yourself but if not, without a doubt you know somebody who does.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)