On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety by Andrea PetersenA 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 : a journey through anxiety
I wanted to understand more about what other people experience, who go through these panic attacks, or have anxiety disorders, and how I could help them. Now, if you have anxiety or you know somebody who has anxiety, this episode will be very helpful. Andrea is also a contributing writer at The Wall Street Journal where she reports on psychology, health, and neuroscience. Also, as a long-time health journalist, I was realizing that there was a really interesting story here, too. This is an amazingly fruitful time in anxiety research. Advances in neuroscience, neuroimaging, and genetics are starting to unravel some of the mysteries of the anxious brain. New treatments are on the horizon and even scientists are looking at the ability to prevent anxiety disorders and kids as young as two.
From a highly regarded health writer for the Wall Street Journal comes a deeply reported, bracingly honest account of living with anxiety, plus a look at new treatments on the horizon. And, for a book about such a serious subject, it has plenty of light moments. We see not only the ways in which her anxiety has held her back, but also how it has led her to live a richer, more authentic life. This brave, hopeful, sensitive account, grounded in the latest neuroscience, will be both enlightening and comforting to the millions who struggle with anxiety. On Edge is both moving and informative, and recommended for those who suffer for similar reasons, as well as those who are simply curious about the workings of the mind.
Yet anxiety can be deadly. Like many who suffer from anxiety, Peterson tried to hide her symptoms. Nor could my parents of friends. Anxiety can also follow generational lines. Years later, her sister experienced a handful of panic attacks, and fears of highways, bridges and airplanes.
Look Inside. May 16, Minutes Buy. May 15, ISBN May 16, ISBN May 16, Minutes. A celebrated science and health reporter offers a wry, bracingly honest account of living with anxiety.