Mon­key Mind: A Mem­oir of Anxiety

  • From the Publisher
April 27, 2012
We all think we know what being anx­ious feels like: It is the instinct that made us run from wolves in the pre­his­toric age and push­es us to per­form in the mod­ern one. But for 40 mil­lion Amer­i­can adults, anx­i­ety is an insid­i­ous con­di­tion that defines dai­ly life. Yet no pop­u­lar mem­oir has been writ­ten about that expe­ri­ence until now. 

Aaron Beck, the most influ­en­tial doc­tor in mod­ern psy­chother­a­py, says that Mon­key Mind does for anx­i­ety what William Styron’s Dark­ness Vis­i­ble did for depression.” 

In Mon­key Mind, Daniel Smith bril­liant­ly artic­u­lates what it is like to live with anx­i­ety, defang­ing the dis­ease with humor, trav­el­ing through its demon­ic lay­ers, evoca­tive­ly express­ing both its painful inter­nal coher­ence and its absur­di­ties. He also inves­ti­gates the rela­tion­ship between anx­i­ety and his Jew­ish her­itage, and traces the experience’s intel­lec­tu­al his­to­ry and its influ­ence on our time. Here, final­ly, comes relief and recog­ni­tion to mil­lions of peo­ple who want some­one to put what they feel, or what their loved ones feel, into words.

Read Daniel Smith’s Posts for the Vis­it­ing Scribe

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