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A Brief History of Anxiety...Yours and Mine…
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A Brief History of Anxiety...Yours and Mine

by Patricia Pearson

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I really enjoyed this book. I even began to feel rather moved towards the end, because I did find myself relating a great deal to her experience of anxiety, I could empathize completely. It was sort of a reassuring read for me & was also neat to read the bits about the history of anxiety throughout the ages. Her talk about anti-depressants & so on, was eye-opening(even for someone who was for years, on & off them).

The book itself is short & easy to read. I was amused by some of the references, particular those to Gavin De Becker, Richard Dawkins, various writers/poets/artists, etc. (I must confess though that the Dawkins reference made me roll my eyes at her slightly, in a "she so does not get him" sort of way. But that is more than just a bit besides the point)

I found the book quite interesting & enjoyable & would recommend it for anyone interested in its subject matter. ( )
  drteeth | Jun 13, 2010 |
About: Pearson describes her struggle with bouts of anxiety and its treatment as well as provides a history of anxiety (and its treatments).

Pros: Short, not poorly written. Sources cited

Cons: Nothing Earth-shattering. Pearson provides some poor examples; i.e. Melinda Doolittle from American Idol when discussing personality, and who's going to remember her in a few years' time? Leading me to think this book will not survive the test of the ages. Discusses a poem by Auden and doesn't share the text. While sources are cited, they are solely in the back matter in a "sentence...source" format, where citation-sequence (superscript numbers) would have been easier to look up what sources she cites and where. ( )
  charlierb3 | May 3, 2008 |
Lester's grandaughter is an accomplished humourist and here she takes on anxiety - both her own and that of others throughout history. Insightful cultural analysis, wry personal reflection and wide-ranging investigative pursuit of her topic produce a readable and stangely helpful book on a common and not very well understood human condition. ( )
  triscuit | Apr 28, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679314989, Hardcover)

Patricia Pearson returns to non-fiction with a witty, insightful and highly personal look at recognizing and coping with fears and anxieties in our contemporary world.

The millions of North Americans who silently cope with anxiety at last have a witty, articulate champion in Patricia Pearson, who shows that the anxious are hardly “nervous nellies” with “weak characters” who just need medicine and a pat on the head. Instead, Pearson questions what it is about today’s culture that is making people anxious, and offers some surprising answers–as well as some inspiring solutions based on her own fierce battle to drive the beast away.

Drawing on personal episodes of incapacitating dread as a vivid, often hilarious guide to her quest to understand this most ancient of human emotions, Pearson delves into the history and geography of anxiety. Why are North Americans so much more likely to suffer than Latin Americans? Why did Darwin treat hypochondria with sprays from a hose? Why have we forgotten the insights of some of our greatest philosophers, theologians and psychologists in favor of prescribing addictive drugs? In this blend of fascinating reportage and poignant memoir, Pearson ends with her struggle to withdraw from antidepressants and to find more self-aware and philosophically-grounded ways to strengthen the soul.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:33 -0400)

"Those of us who silently cope with anxiety disorders at last have a witty, articulate champion in Patricia Pearson, an award-winning journalist who has suffered from incapacitating bouts of dread since childhood." "In this blend of fascinating reportage and poignant memoir, Pearson questions what it is about twenty-first-century American culture that is making people anxious, and offers some surprising answers - as well as some inspiring solutions based on her own fierce battle to drive the beast away." "Drawing on personal episodes that are by turns gripping and laugh-out-loud funny, Pearson delves into the history and geography of anxiety in a quest to understand this most ancient of human emotions. Why do we feel fear even when it has no cause? What triggers phobias? Why are Americans so much more likely to have clinically significant levels of anxiety than their Mexican neighbors? Why did Darwin treat his hypochondria with sprays from a hose? Why have we forsaken the insights of some of our greatest philosophers, theologians, and psychologists in favor of prescribing addictive drugs? Finally, Pearson documents her struggle to withdraw from antidepressants and to find more self-aware and philosophically grounded ways to strengthen the soul."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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