Format: Dead Trees
Source: Public Library
Petersen suffers from anxiety. In college, she had panic attacks that shut her down. She went home for a couple months and just tried to shut out the whole world. Petersen gives us an inside look into what she was going through. Then she turns to her journalistic side and gives us the history of studying mental illnesses. Starting with her grandmother, Petersen explains how little was known of various mental illness back in the 1950’s. That the doctors of the time tended to lump all mental illness into one big problem. Discussing the many strategies tried over the many years of study, Petersen discusses what seemed to help her the most. Cognitive reappraisal seemed to help her a lot. What is the probability of getting in a plane crash? What is the likelihood of really getting MRSA? Another tactic that she discusses is exposure therapy.
Petersen becomes very transparent throughout the book. She discusses how her anxiety has hindered many of her dating relationships, how it has affected her work, and how she worries it will roll over into her parenting.
I enjoyed how she talked about the many treatments she has undergone, the many meds she has tried over the years, and the many times that even though she was getting treatment, therapy, and on meds sometimes her anxiety would still overtake her.