Atlantic Editor Scott Stossel's new book "My Age of Anxiety," is a personal account of the challenges of managing his almost debilitating anxiety. Stossel has suffered from different forms of anxiety all of his life:
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. 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. At various times, I have developed anxiety-induced difficulties breathing, swallowing, even walking; these difficulties then become obsessions, consuming all of my thinking.
I also suffer from a number of specific fears and phobias, in addition to my public-speaking phobia. To name a few: enclosed spaces (claustrophobia); heights (acrophobia); fainting (asthenophobia); being trapped far from home (a species of agoraphobia); germs (bacillophobia); cheese (turophobia); flying (aerophobia); vomiting (emetophobia); and, naturally, vomiting while flying (aeronausiphobia).
Stossel struggles with the most common form of mental illness in the United States. "According to the National Institute of Mental Health, some 40 million American adults, about one in six, are suffering from some kind of anxiety disorder at any given time," he wrote.
His sister Sage Stossel has also just released a new graphic novel, "Starling," which includes a main character that shares many of Stossel's own anxious behaviors.
Scott and Sage Stossel join The Daily Circuit to discuss the origins of their family's anxiety and how they cope.
Archive: Chat on anxiety