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"When anxiety has you in its grip, it can seem impossible to rationalize your way out of it."
That sweaty, gut-clenching, suffocating, racing-heart feeling. That dull, never-ending sense that something's wrong. Anxiety affects millions of young adults. From phobias to compulsiveness to post traumatic stress disorder, "Freaking Out" chronicles the many guises of excessive anxiety in teens' lives and the havoc it can wreak.
These 13 true stories span the anxiety spectrum, from heightened adolescent angst to full-blown disorders. The triggers for the teens in this book range from the stress of getting into college, to the loss of a parent, to day-to-day social encounters. Their stories explore the different ways each learned to unshackle themselves from the weight of overwhelming worry.
In "Nowhere to Hide," Caroline suffers debilitating panic attacks brought on in part by extreme shyness. In "Exiled," Alana's treatment at the hand of bullies makes her anxiety even worse. In "The Enemy Next Door" Noah grapples with the paralyzing, unexplained fear of dogs that has caused him anxiety since childhood. And in "War Story," Hamid, alone in a new country, must confront his post traumatic stress disorder.
Including an afterword written by psychologist Stacie Isenberg of The Ross Center in Washington, D.C., "Freaking Out" offers young people a vivid understanding of what anxiety feels like, positive tools to minimize its effects, and the reassurance that they can live a full and rewarding life even if they find themselves in its grip.
Polly Wells is a writer and video producer. She produced the documentary film "The Age of Anxiety." She lives in Toronto with her husband and two teenage children. Peter Mitchell is an award-winning illustrator whose work can be found in the "LA Times" and "The Globe and Mail." He is also the illustrator of "i.d.: Stuff that Happens to Define Us." Peter lives in Toronto with his family. Visit his website at www.petermitchell.net. Stacie Isenberg, PsyD, is the Child and Adolescent Program Director at The Ross Center in Washington, DC, an institution renown for providing evidence-based treatment for mood and anxiety disorders, specifically cognitive and behavioral therapies.
Written in first person but actually recast from single or composite interviews with teens or young adults, 13 narratives describe in detail a range of common circumstances and experiences that spark sharp panic attacks or longer-term disturbances--from fear of doing poorly on a test or being attacked by a dog to emotional fallout from being bullied or socially ostracized, losing a parent, escaping a war zone, being gay, or just becoming an adolescent. All of the interviewees have either cured themselves or at least begun to get past their afflictions. An afterword by a clinical psychologist summarizes anxiety's causes and explains what mental health professionals can do to help. The closing lists of print and web resources, organizations, and hotlines are generously sized. Along with the physical signs and effects of anxiety, and a number of potential coping strategies, readers will come away with clearer notions of anxiety's universality and, as the author puts it, when it's time to worry about being worried.--John Peters"Booklist" (12/01/2013) While the book is not written from a Christian perspective, as a youth leader and a parent of teens, I found it very helpful.--Kristy Quist"The Banner" (10/02/2013) Comprised of 13 true stories by young adults on dealing with anxiety, Freaking Out is an excellent resource for anyone suffering from anxiety.--Michael Rogowsi"Resource Links" (02/01/2014) The stories effectively portray how everyone's experience with anxiety is different, and how the recovery takes a different path for each person.--Ethel Gamache"ABQLA Bulletin" (08/01/2014)