10 Fiction and Nonfiction Books About Living With Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal, yet unpleasant part of life, affecting all of us at some point or another. However, for some of us anxiety is a crippling, debilitating affliction , disrupting the sufferer and affecting every day to day activity.

Through literature we see ourselves reflected, and often reading and knowing other people are going through the same challenges as we are can be helpful and so today we’re featuring ten books about anxiety. This list is a mixture of novels featuring characters with anxiety and nonfiction books designed to help those who are suffering.

Break it Down – Lydia Davis

The thirty-four stories in this seminal collection powerfully display what have become Lydia Davis’s trademarks―dexterity, brevity, understatement, and surprise. Although the certainty of her prose suggests a world of almost clinical reason and clarity, her characters show us that life, thought, and language are full of disorder. Break It Down is Davis at her best. In the words of Jonathan Franzen, she is “a magician of self-consciousness.”

Break it Down

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My Age of Anxiety – Scott Stossel

Drawing on his own longstanding battle with anxiety, Scott Stossel presents a moving and revelatory account of a condition that affects some 40 million Americans. Stossel offers an intimate and authoritative history of efforts by scientists, philosophers, and writers to understand anxiety. We discover the well-known who have struggled with the condition, as well as the afflicted generations of Stossel’s own family. Revealing anxiety’s myriad manifestations and the anguish it causes, he also surveys the countless psychotherapies, medications, and often outlandish treatments that have been developed to relieve it.

My Age of Anxiety

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Feeling Good – David D Burns M.D

The good news is that anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other “black holes” of depression can be cured without drugs. In Feeling Good, eminent psychiatrist, David D. Burns, M.D., outlines the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life. Now, in this updated edition, Dr. Burns adds an All-New Consumer′s Guide To Anti-depressant Drugs as well as a new introduction to help answer your questions about the many options available for treating depression.

Feeling Good

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Stories of Your Life – Ted Chiang

Stories of Your Life and Others delivers dual delights of the very, very strange and the heartbreakingly familiar, often presenting characters who must confront sudden change—the inevitable rise of automatons or the appearance of aliens—with some sense of normalcy. With sharp intelligence and humor, Chiang examines what it means to be alive in a world marked by uncertainty, but also by beauty and wonder. An award-winning collection from one of today’s most lauded writers, Stories of Your Life and Others is a contemporary classic.

Stories of Your Life

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Anxiety: Panicking about Panic – Joshua Fletcher

Anxiety: Panicking about Panic is a highly informative, self-help guide for people who suffer from frequent anxiety and panic attacks. The book has also been tailored for those who have been diagnosed with an Anxiety or Panic Disorder. This easily accessible, non-complex book has already helped thousands of people from around the world who suffer from the debilitating symptoms caused by an anxiety condition.

Anxiety: Panicking About Panic

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None of This is Real – Miranda Mellis

This story collection is stunning, but it’s the title story that in particular deals with anxiety as O, an aspiring author is visiting his mother, home and heartbroken after intense confusing relationships, and exhausted after trying to write a book that leads him from one path to another. While trying to navigate his way around life, and writing, O finally learns how to breathe.

None of This is Real

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The Anxiety Toolkit – Alice Boyes PhD

Do you overthink before taking action? Are you prone to making negative predictions? Do you worry about the worst that could happen? Do you take negative feedback very hard? Are you self-critical? Does anything less than perfect performance feel like failure?

If any of these issues resonate with you, you’re probably suffering from some degree of anxiety, and you’re not alone. The good news: while reducing your anxiety level to zero isn’t possible or useful (anxiety can actually be helpful!), you can learn to successfully manage symptoms – such as excessive rumination, hesitation, fear of criticism and paralysing perfection.

The Anxiety Toolkit 

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Lost in Los Angeles – J Lynne

Just weeks after eighteen-year-old Erin tragically loses her best friend, she is brutally betrayed by her high school crush. Plagued by crippling anxiety attacks and disconcerting visions of her dead friend, Erin travels to Los Angeles, searching for a sign that life is still worth living.

Shortly after she arrives in L.A., she meets Ben, a mysterious man who captures both her curiosity and her heart. As they explore Los Angeles together, Ben reveals shocking secrets of his tragic childhood and helps Erin believe that she can heal from the wounds of her traumatic past.

But Ben is hiding a horrible secret. A secret that could destroy her.

Lost in Los Angeles

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Moving the Chains – Em Lyons Bouch

This novel contains two stories intertwined: As a freshman, Abby is the star quarterback of her small town’s high school football team. When she finds out that her family is moving to the big city and leaving behind everything she knows, Abby’s latent anxiety becomes a problem that she can no longer ignore. In order to be successful both on and off the field, she must face stigma and her own fears before her nervous symptoms become crippling. Twenty years later, Abby has become a successful professor of psychology. Although her nervous symptoms are well under control, when she is thrown into the lime-light, Abby experiences a new wave of anxiety. With the insight she has gained over the years, she works through her symptoms, reflects back on her path since high school, and finds that she still has a lot to learn.

Moving the Chains

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Narcissus Called My Name – Dr. John J. Whelan

Military personnel and first responders are more susceptible to mental disorders than your average office worker. Studies confirm that the rate of PTSD is fifteen times higher among soldiers than among civilians. It does not help that military mental-health diagnostic systems are not the most thorough. Mental illness in veterans, soldiers, and first responders is often chalked up to traumatic events during combat. That might not be the whole story, though. In fact, in most cases, combative events are the trigger for something that runs much deeper. Through stories told by veterans themselves and his own experiences while serving in the Canadian Navy, Dr. John Whelan paints a compelling case for an alternate route to assessing mental illness in veterans and first responders.

Narcissus Called My Name

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We hope you find some good suggestions there and we’ll be back with more recommendations lists soon. If you want to ensure you never miss any of these, subscribe now.



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