On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety

Anxiety disorders don't discriminate. As Wall Street Journal science and health reporter Andrea Petersen learned as a student in college, the debilitating fears that paralyze about 40 million adults in the United States, and the racing heart and strangled breaths of panic attacks, don't care about socio-economic status, race or sexual orientation. While women are more likely to suffer from the disorder ("There is no greater risk factor for anxiety disorders than being born female"), men are vulnerable to it as well. Even the young aren't safe from anxiety; in fact, the rate of diagnosis among college students is on a startling rise.

In On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety, Petersen shares her experiences battling panic attacks and fears as she explains the biological and psychological research underlying current treatments of the 11 anxiety disorders recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). They encompass a wide spectrum of symptoms and are closely tied to other afflictions, such as depression. Those who can identify with any of the evils of anxiety will discover solid research that offers options, understanding and hope. They'll even find some humor. On Edge can even help those who are fortunate enough to elude the irrational fears of anxiety. Petersen quotes Harvard Medical School professor of psychiatry Jordan Smoller: "People underrecognize the toll that [anxiety] takes on people's lives." For those with a family member, friend or employee who is battling with this invisible demon, On Edge can shed light down the dark cavern and help them support their loved ones when "uncertainty far too easily morphs into inescapable catastrophe." --Jen Forbus, freelancer

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