Anxiety and panic attacks plague a woman’s life.
A rapid heart rate, chest pains, and shallow breathing are all symptoms of a heart attack. However, for Wall Street Journal health reporter Petersen, those were the symptoms of her reoccurring anxiety attacks. As she notes, those are just a few of the many symptoms she and millions of others with anxiety disorders deal with on a regular basis. Having lived with anxiety for more 25 years, Petersen has been in and out of numerous emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, and therapy sessions, and she has tried a variety of drugs and alternative solutions to alleviate her condition, with mixed results. In this honest and revealing memoir, the author makes no attempt to mask the multiple ways that panic attacks have sideswiped her, forcing her to reschedule and rethink how she lives her life. Along with her personal memories of the past two decades, Petersen explores practical information about anxiety and panic attacks, the history and development of anti-anxiety drugs, the methods of therapy used to treat disorders, and the factors involved in the inheritance of genes that lead to the disorders. “The estimated number of people who will have at least one anxiety disorder during the course of their lives is staggering: one in three Americans ages thirteen or older,” writes the author. “If we look only at women, the number is even higher—more than 40 percent.” Based on these figures, Petersen’s thoughtful and encouraging treatise on living and thriving despite these disorders will be helpful reading for many, and her honesty opens a much-needed doorway onto a significant health problem that is often underreported but on the rise.
Sensitive and frank personal views on anxiety backed by substantial research and analysis of the evolution of treatment methods and drugs to alleviate symptoms.