Trigger Warning: The mention of certain content and topics in this article may be triggering to some readers.
Mental illness can be confusing, and taking the first steps toward managing it can be daunting. For these reasons, mental health education is incredibly important. While significant strides have been made in recent years, obtaining quality mental health education is still difficult for many people. Healthcare is expensive, and sifting through information online that may not even be accurate is dizzying. Luckily, these 5 books make learning about generalized anxiety a breeze.
My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind by Scott Stossel
This book takes a deep dive into the history of generalized anxiety. Stossel reaches all the way back to the writings of Hippocrates and onward to illustrate how humanity’s understanding and treatment of anxiety has evolved. What sets this book apart from the others on this list is Stossel’s approach to the illness. He writes about anxiety not only through a medical lens but through a philosophical and cultural lens as well. The book intertwines expert knowledge on generalized anxiety with personal anecdotes from famous figures and the author himself. My Age of Anxiety is a great book for those who want to start at square one.
Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer, MD, PhD
If you’re a practical person looking for a scientific approach to tackling generalized anxiety, this book is for you. Unwinding Anxiety makes neuroscience easy to absorb. Neuroscientist Judson Brewer uses the latest research on generalized anxiety to teach us how to shut it down at the source. The book not only explains what chemically causes anxiety in the brain but also how to break down its unhealthy manifestations in our lives. With mindful practices as its core message, this book is a must-read for those in search of empirically-backed solutions for their anxiety.
Rewire Your Anxious Brain by Catherine M. Pittman, Ph.D. and Elizabeth M. Karle, MLIS
Much like Unwinding Anxiety, Rewire Your Anxious Brain is another book that focuses on the root causes of generalized anxiety. Pittman and Karle teach us how anxiety begins in the brain and provide effective tools to help overcome it. While the previous book suggests mindfulness, Rewire Your Anxious Brain suggests several lifestyle changes that can help you deal with and even prevent anxiety. If you’re in search of healthy coping mechanisms to help with generalized anxiety, you should definitely pick this one up.
Deconstructing Anxiety by Todd E. Pressman, PhD
Deconstructing Anxiety is about the core fears and instinctive defenses that keep people with generalized anxiety in a loop. Pressman explains how to identify and overcome these obstacles in order to live life uncontrolled by anxiety. The book is the densest read on this list, but don’t let that deter you. The ideas and practices in this book offer a unique and helpful perspective on generalized anxiety disorder. Add this book to your TBR if deep inner work and mindfulness resonate with you.
Don’t F*cking Panic by Kelsey Darragh
Last but certainly not least, Don’t F*cking Panic is the perfect choice if you just need someone to relate to. Unlike the rest of the authors on this list, Darragh is not a mental health professional. She’s just a regular woman who struggles with generalized anxiety disorder and other mental illnesses. Part workbook and part memoir, this book offers mental health education and advice in a hilarious and honest way. Because sometimes we don’t need an authority figure. We just need someone who gets it.
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