According to recent statistics, the number of Americans dealing with anxiety disorders is over 40 million and that number is increasing. My guest today is one of those Americans who’s suffered from bouts of anxiety all of his life. He’s also a successful journalist. So he decided to use his journalistic chops to explore the history of anxiety and how we treat it in the hopes he could gain more insight about the mental disorder that has plagued him since his youth.
His name is Scott Stossel. He’s an editor at The Atlantic and the author of My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind. We begin our conversation discussing Scott’s experience with anxiety that began as a child, what anxiety feels like, and how he’s treated it throughout his life. We then dig into the history of anxiety, looking at how it’s been viewed differently through time, and at what point psychologists classified it as a mental disorder. Scott then walks us through the different theories about what causes anxiety and what the research says about the best ways to treat it. We end our conversation discussing the state of Scott’s anxiety today and whether he thinks he’ll ever be cured.
- Scott’s lifelong experience with anxiety
- The benefits and usefulness of anxiety
- Society’s general increase of anxiousness, and why this is happening
- How did anxiety used to be diagnosed and treated?
- The arbitrary diagnosing of anxiety disorders
- Genetics vs. environment vs. culture in causing anxiousness
- What can we do to boost our resilience and resistance to anxiety?
- The pros and cons of therapy, drugs, and other treatments
- The power of regular exercise
- Can anxiety really ever be cured?
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- AoM series on Male Depression
- How to Deal With Anxiety
- Our podcast with Lenore Skenazy about free-range parenting
- AoM series on Overprotective Parenting
- Modern “Neurasthenia”: Curing Your Restlessness
- Are Modern People the Most Exhausted in History?
- A Simple Cure for Restlessness
- Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity
- Action Over Feelings
- Neuropeptide Y
- Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Connect With Scott
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
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