By Scott Stossel
A riveting, revelatory, and relocating account of the author’s struggles with nervousness, and of the heritage of efforts via scientists, philosophers, and writers to appreciate the condition
As lately as thirty-five years in the past, nervousness didn't exist as a diagnostic class. this present day, it's the most typical kind of formally categorized psychological sickness. Scott Stossel gracefully publications us around the terrain of an disease that's pervasive but too usually misunderstood.
Drawing on his personal long-standing conflict with nervousness, Stossel provides an mind-blowing background, instantaneously intimate and authoritative, of the efforts to appreciate the situation from clinical, cultural, philosophical, and experiential views. He levels from the earliest scientific studies of Galen and Hippocrates, via later observations by means of Robert Burton and Søren Kierkegaard, to the investigations via nice nineteenth-century scientists, similar to Charles Darwin, William James, and Sigmund Freud, as they started to discover its resources and reasons, to the newest learn by means of neuroscientists and geneticists. Stossel reviews on well-known people who struggled with nervousness, in addition to at the stricken generations of his circle of relatives. His portrait of hysteria finds not just the emotion’s myriad manifestations and the soreness nervousness produces but in addition the numerous psychotherapies, medicinal drugs, and different (often outlandish) remedies which were constructed to counteract it. Stossel vividly depicts anxiety’s human toll—its crippling impression, its devastating strength to paralyze—while while exploring how those that be afflicted by it locate how one can deal with and keep an eye on it.
My Age of Anxiety is realized and empathetic, funny and inspirational, supplying the reader nice perception into the organic, cultural, and environmental elements that give a contribution to the ailment.
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Additional resources for My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind
In mitigation of this criticism we might say that Mill was not thinking so much of actual depression as of the particular ideas in the mind of the depressed person. Mill thinks there is an association between feeling in general and certain specific ideas ; this is a valuable point, though very obscure and treated too briefly. It would be interesting to know whether individuals ever had ideas or groups of ideas that regularly predominated during states of physical weakness or of localized pain such as headache.
The point relevant to psychology is the question whether the synthetic activity of the Ego or the associative power of ideas (as elements of consciousness) is to be emphasized. The latter was the original attitude of Hartley, and to it Jam es Mill remained true. Born in 1773, Mill absorbed in his youth the ideas of Hume and Hartley, became acquainted with the teaching of Reid and Brown, but remained unaffected by German thought till his death (1836). He entitled his work A nalysis of the Phenomena of the H um an M in d (1829), and to that title the whole work faithfully corresponded.
Since the Ego is known as a system of activities, psychology 44 TUB AGE OF TRANSITION does not require to go beyond these activities. As a science it knows nothing but phenomena. Though it is not easy to put oneself into the position which Herbart takes, it is ultimately worth the trouble. For Herbart’s general knowledge of philosophy enabled him to grasp the whole significance of psychology as a natural science and as a philosophy of mind. The tradition which he inherited spoke of psychic phenomena as phenomena or manifestations of the soul.