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Why do so many people suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous angst? Some twenty percent of us are afflicted with common Anxiety and Depressive disorders. That's not just nervous or scared or sad - that is painful dysfunction without obvious benefit. A new theoretical synthesis suggests that while animals share a set of evolved social instincts, we humans experience commonplace Anxiety and Depressive disorders when we use our reason to defy that biology.
Some twenty percent of us are afflicted with common anxiety and depressive disorders--not just brief bouts of nervousness or sorrow, but painful dysfunctions without obvious benefit. Why do so many people suffer from angst? In this path-breaking volume, engagingly written for the general public, psychiatrist Jeffrey Kahn reveals that angst ultimately results from our transformation, over tens of thousands of years, from biologically shaped, almost herd-like prehistoric tribes, to rational and independent individuals in modern civilization. Kahn looks at five basic types of modern-day angst--Panic Anxiety, Social Anxiety, OCD, Atypical Depression, and Melancholic Depression--and shows how each derives from primeval social instincts that once helped our ancestors survive. For instance, the "panic disorder" which prevents some people from flying may have originally evolved to keep our tribal ancestors from traveling dangerously far from home. Likewise, the increased emotional sensitivity to social rejection that now triggers episodes of "atypical depression" may have helped maintain polite behavior and social harmony in our ancestors. Our distinctly human civilization and rational consciousness lets us defy these social instincts. But those over-ridden instincts can resurface as stressful emotional disorders. Kahn notes that some of us painfully tackle this distress head-on, in ways that can advance intellectual creativity, social performance and productivity. He also describes the interplay of instinct with the advance of civilization, and on how evolutionary perspective explains why modern treatments work. Ranging from Darwin and Freud to the most cutting-edge medical and scientific findings--drawing from ancient writings, modern humor and popular lyrics, and with many amusing cartoons--Angst offers us an exciting new slant on some of the most pervasive mental health issues of our time.
Why do so many people suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous angst? Some twenty percent of us are afflicted with common Anxiety and Depressive disorders. That's not just nervous or scared or sad - that is painful dysfunction without obvious benefit. A new theoretical synthesis suggests that while animals share a set of evolved social instincts, we humans experience commonplace Anxiety and Depressive disorders when we use our reason to defy that biology.
Nearly every depressed person is assured by doctors, well-meaning friends and family, the media, and ubiquitous advertisements that the underlying problem is a chemical imbalance. Such a simple defect should be fixable, yet despite all of the resources that have been devoted to finding a pharmacological solution, depression remains stubbornly widespread. Why are we losing this fight? In this humane and illuminating challenge to defect models of depression, psychologist Jonathan Rottenberg argues that depression is a particularly severe outgrowth of our natural capacity for emotion. In other words, it is a low mood gone haywire. Drawing on recent developments in the science of mood—and his own harrowing depressive experience as a young adult—Rottenberg explains depression in evolutionary terms, showing how its dark pull arises from adaptations that evolved to help our ancestors ensure their survival. Moods, high and low, evolved to compel us to more efficiently pursue rewards. While this worked for our ancestors, our modern environment—in which daily survival is no longer a sole focus—makes it all too easy for low mood to slide into severe, long-lasting depression. Weaving together experimental and epidemiological research, clinical observations, and the voices of individuals who have struggled with depression, The Depths offers a bold new account of why depression endures—and makes a strong case for de-stigmatizing this increasingly common condition. In so doing, Rottenberg offers hope in the form of his own and other patients’ recovery, and points the way towards new paths for treatment.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER and SHORTLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE 2015 As recently as thirty-five years ago, anxiety did not exist as a diagnostic category. Today, it is the most common form of officially classified mental illness. Scott Stossel gracefully guides us across the terrain of an affliction that is pervasive yet too often misunderstood. Drawing on his own long-standing battle with anxiety, Stossel presents an astonishing history, at once intimate and authoritative, of the efforts to understand the condition from medical, cultural, philosophical and experiential perspectives. He ranges from the earliest medical reports of Galen and Hippocrates, through later observations by Robert Burton and Søren Kierkegaard, to the investigations by great nineteenth-century scientists, such as Charles Darwin, William James and Sigmund Freud, as they began to explore its sources and causes, to the latest research by neuroscientists and geneticists. Stossel reports on famous individuals who struggled with anxiety, as well as the afflicted generations of his own family. His portrait of anxiety reveals not only the emotion’s myriad manifestations and the anguish it produces, but also the countless psychotherapies, medications and other (often outlandish) treatments that have been developed to counteract it. Stossel vividly depicts anxiety’s human toll – its crippling impact, its devastating power to paralyse – while at the same time exploring how those who suffer from it find ways to manage and control it. My Age of Anxiety is learned and empathetic, humorous and inspirational, offering the reader great insight into the biological, cultural and environmental factors that contribute to the affliction.
Anxiety is the most prevalent psychiatric problem of our time. Decades of research have gone into probing its mysteries and developing treatments. But what if we’ve been thinking about fear and anxiety in the wrong way for all these years? This is the groundbreaking premise behind a wave of new research, led by the lab of renowned neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux. He believes that fear and anxiety are not innate states, simply waiting to be unleashed in the brain. Rather they are assembled experiences, and that has huge implications for patients. By mapping brain circuits, LeDoux explains the origins of anxiety disorders and reveals discoveries that can restore sufferers to normality. As impressive as it is timely, Anxious is a comprehensive survey of cutting-edge research revolutionising the way we treat our most pressing mental health issue.
According to yogic philosophy, there are five causes of suffering: separation from the spiritual, limited self-concept, attachments, aversions, and fear of death. With this philosophical contextualization, Yoga for Anxiety examines the causes of anxiety and helps readers create personal yoga programs designed to heal their symptoms and promote personal growth. The book includes yoga self-healing practices, including meditation, self-inquiry exercises, and recitation of mantras, that have been used for centuries to quell anxious feelings and restore mental clarity. A chapter devoted to mindfulness helps readers learn to pause and regroup when they feel stressed instead of acting on their thoughts. Readers will also learn to accept their emotions and develop compassion for themselves as they learn to do away with the feelings of anxiety.

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