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Freaking Out


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About the Author

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

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)

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