Anxiety for Beginners
Foyles paperback of the year, Anxiety for Beginners offers a vivid insight into the often crippling impact of anxiety disorders, a condition that is frequently invisible, shrouded in shame and misunderstood. It serves as a guide for those who live with anxiety disorders and those who live with them by proxy.
Combining her own experiences (rendered in emotive detail) with extensive research with experts (neuroscientists, psychiatrists, psychologists and fellow sufferers – including some familiar faces), Eleanor Morgan explores not just the roots of her own anxiety, but also investigates what might be contributing to so many of us suffering around the world.
Anxiety for Beginners is, at its heart, a book about acceptance, as Morgan discovers the ways in which people can live a life that is not just manageable but enjoyable, learning to accept anxiety as part of who we are rather than spending a life fighting and being ashamed of it.
A powerful and beautifully written account of Morgan's experiences with anxiety and depression, and a rigorously researched examination of why they happen and how they can be managed. As well as speaking to fellow sufferers, Morgan consults psychiatrists, psychologists, OCD specialists, gastroenterologists and nutritionists, and bones up on Kierkegaard, Freud and Hippocrates (the latter was the first to describe a patient with social anxiety).It is with a mixture of humanity and clear-sightedness that she analyses genetic and environmental influences, trauma, hormones, fertility, parenthood, medication, social stigma and language, all the while linking back to her own stories and those of fellow sufferers.In assuming the dual role of memoirist and investigative journalist, Morgan gradually comes to terms with her own anxiety disorder. She offers no firm answers or miracle cures, and is careful to remind us that, when it comes to mental illness, no two cases are the same. Her willingness to share what so many others strive to keep hidden, to thoroughly demystify her condition, is courageous and compelling
This fusion of memoir and scientific investigation is very accessible. . . with a generous dollop of humanity