ABOUT THE BOOK:
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
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
Brave and empowering, this is essential reading for anyone who knows what it means to live on
On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety by Andrea Petersen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One Edge: A Journey through Anxiety by Andrea Petersen is a 2017 Crown publication.
As a long -time sufferer from panic/anxiety disorder, this book truly resonated with me.
This book chronicles the author’s own personal journey with the disorder, but also offers some insight into why people develop anxiety, including a look at her family history and genetics.
Most of the key areas one might expect are covered here, such as treatment, types of anxiety, phobias, isolation, predisposition, symptoms and most importantly, how to cope and live with the disorder without completely withdrawing from the world.
Her personal story is mixed in with medical and scientific facts and research, some of which sailed over my head, although I am interested in the results, it was mind numbing in a few places and I zoned out.
But, for the most part, I understood where the author was coming from and my own behavior mimicked hers on many occasions.
Her story is frank, honest, and practical, and I took inspiration from her as she fights daily with this debilitating disorder and mostly wins out in the end. Fear is the main theme and I completely agree. The anticipation of anxiety is the most difficult part to gain control of.
Overall, I think this is an insightful, knowledgeable look at living with anxiety, that anyone who has been diagnosed with the malady will relate to, sympathize with and learn from. Not only that, if you have a friend or a family member with an anxiety disorder, this book will give you valuable insight and information so you can understand how better to support them.
There is no cure for anxiety, but this book does offer understanding and advice, along with the hope of a medical or scientific breakthrough someday, for future generations. In the meantime, fighting fear and anxiety is a battle we must fight daily with a determination to keep it from affecting or diminishing our quality of life.
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ABOUT THE 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 and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughter.