New books! Am trying to figure out if reading either of these books will make my anxiety worse or better. I bought both of them thinking that they’d help.
As Scott Stossel writes, “…there is a rich and convincing literature about how… hiding or suppressing anxiety actually produces more anxiety,”(pg. 25).
Reading would be therapeutic. Learning about the rich history of anxiety, how the understanding of it has shifted over time, how it’s perceived differently between cultures, and learning that many creative types and great thinkers (Charles Darwin, William James, etc) were afflicted by “excessive nervous” on a more extreme scale than I am would put my own flutterings into perspective.
On the other hand, reading this book, as Stossel notes in reference to himself writing the book, “might be a terrible idea: if it’s relief from nervous suffering that I crave, then burrowing into the history and science of anxiety, and into my own psyche, is perhaps not the best way to achieve it,”(pg. 23).
Leslie Jamison’s collection of essays isn’t about anxiety explicitly, but reading essays that explore “how. . we feel another person’s pain,” plus Jamison writes about her actual heart problems (tachycardia; she also wore a Holter Monitor), strikes close enough to my core that I worry this might set off my own fragile flutter box.
I’ve read 20ish pages of each book with some small internal rumblings, but should I continue? Rumblings aside, I did really enjoy those 20 pages.