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MAXED OUT by Katrina Alcorn


American Moms on the Brink

by Katrina Alcorn

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-58005-523-9
Publisher: Seal Press

Alcorn chronicles her descent into a nervous breakdown.

"One-third of adults in the United States will have an anxiety problem within their lifetimes,” writes the author in her honest portrayal of her slide into panic attacks and a full-blown breakdown, and “women are 60 percent more likely to suffer an anxiety disorder than men.” In her late 30s, Alcorn had a successful, full-time career, three great children and a loving husband who also worked. What she didn't realize was that in her attempt to juggle the needs of her boss and clients with those of her young children and husband, she'd neglected to find time for herself. The slightest twist in a carefully plotted schedule, such as a sick child, a needy co-worker or an annoying client, threw a monkey wrench into her life, to the point where she could no longer function. "Unfortunately,” she writes, “the juggling act of working and parenting can put you in a perpetual state of fight or flight. The adrenaline glands start producing stress hormones like mad….Eventually, the nervous system maxes out, and the body goes haywire.” When she did manage to balance all the elements, she felt guilty. At work, she wanted to be with her kids; at home, she thought about work, and she came to realize through support groups and research that she was definitely not alone in feeling overwhelmed. Alcorn's moving account is pertinent for American women and men who are trying to chase their own versions of the American dream, and she offers helpful suggestions and techniques to combat the inevitable stress encountered along the way.

An eye-opening, expressive narrative on an often hidden but common problem in American society.