My Age of Anxiety

  • Author: Scott Stossel
  • Full Title: My Age of Anxiety
  • Tags: Books [[Did Not Finish]]
  • Recommendation: 4/10
    • I admit, I didn’t get very far. It was a little too in the weeds for me.


  • CHAPTER 1 The Nature of Anxiety (Location 46)
  • Anxiety kills relatively few people, but many more would welcome death as an alternative to the paralysis and suffering resulting from anxiety in its severe forms. (Location 89)
  • I have thousands of times been stricken by a pervasive sense of existential dread and been beset by nausea, vertigo, shaking, and a panoply of other physical symptoms. In these instances, I have sometimes been convinced that death, or something somehow worse, was imminent. (Location 97)
  • Even when not actively afflicted by such acute episodes, I am buffeted by worry: about my health and my family members’ health; about finances; about work; about the rattle in my car and the dripping in my basement; about the encroachment of old age and the inevitability of death; about everything and nothing. (Location 99)
  • Sometimes this worry gets transmuted into low-grade physical discomfort—stomachaches, headaches, dizziness, pains in my arms and legs—or a general malaise, as though I have mononucleosis or the flu. (Location 101)
  • Of course, these figures refer only to people, like me, who are, according to the somewhat arbitrary diagnostic criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association, technically classifiable as clinically anxious. But anxiety extends far beyond the population of the officially mentally ill. (Location 157)
  • Primary care physicians report that anxiety is one of the most frequent complaints driving patients to their offices—more frequent, by some accounts, than the common cold. (Location 159)
  • In an important sense, the treatment predated the diagnosis—that is, the discovery of antianxiety drugs drove the creation of anxiety as a diagnostic category. (Location 175)
  • The truth is that anxiety is at once a function of biology and philosophy, body and mind, instinct and reason, personality and culture. Even as anxiety is experienced at a spiritual and psychological level, it is scientifically measurable at the molecular level and the physiological level. It is produced by nature and it is produced by nurture. It’s a psychological phenomenon and a sociological phenomenon. In computer terms, it’s both a hardware problem (I’m wired badly) and a software problem (I run faulty logic programs that make (Location 242)