I have struggled with anxiety since I was a small child (from my earliest memories), so I couldn't wait to read Andrea Petersen's new book, On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety. The back cover says:
"A celebrated science and health reporter offers a wry, bracingly honest account of living with anxiety.
A racing heart. Difficulty breathing. Overwhelming dread. Andrea Petersen was first diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at the age of twenty, but she later realized that she had been experiencing panic attacks since childhood. With time her symptoms multiplied. She agonized over every odd physical sensation. She developed fears of driving on highways, going to movie theaters, even licking envelopes. Although having a name for her condition was an enormous relief, it was only the beginning of a journey to understand and master it—one that took her from psychiatrists’ offices to yoga retreats to the Appalachian Trail.
Woven into Petersen’s personal story is a fascinating look at the biology of anxiety and the groundbreaking research that might point the way to new treatments. She compares psychoactive drugs to non-drug treatments, including biofeedback and exposure therapy. And she explores the role that genetics and the environment play 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.
Brave and empowering, this is essential reading for anyone who knows what it means to live on edge."
On Edge is part memoir, part science and health reporting. Andrea weaves her own story and struggles with anxiety disorder throughout the book, while also reporting on the latest research, treatment, and studies on anxiety. I learned a lot of new interesting facts about anxiety and it was very eye opening to read about the latest breakthroughs that have been made in the field. I could relate to Andrea SO MUCH in her anxiety struggles, as she also struggled with anxiety from a child as well. I, too, have or have had phobias of driving on highways, going to the movies, and licking envelopes. I know those things sound absolutely insane to "normal" people, but it's such a relief to find someone else who has had the same strange fears and phobias as you. This book was so relateable and so interesting. I highly recommend it to all anxiety sufferers - and those who love them, so they can get an understanding of what their loved one is going through.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in order to provide an honest review. All opinions are my own.