For the past several years, I’ve been battling anxiety. I don’t have a hard time talking about it, because I think it’s really important to openly talk about mental illness. That’s why I picked up this important book! On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety by Andrea Petersen is a memoir about Petersen’s life-long battle with anxiety, plus a lot of research she did on the subject.
I have to admit, when I picked up this book, I wasn’t expecting it to read the way it does. There’s a good bit about her own history with anxiety, but it’s really an in-depth look into the history of anxiety, how it’s treated, and how it affects our lives.
Petersen suffers paralyzing anxiety attacks that send her to the emergency room. Anxiety has played a role in her life ever since childhood, and she uses her memoir to tell her story about growing up, going to college, dating, and having a child, all while navigating the confusing and often difficult road of living with anxiety.
I have to admit, I did get a little bored at times when the book launches into all of the history of anxiety and mental health, medications, treatments, and studies. While a lot of this content is really interesting, there is a lot more of it than I thought there would be in a memoir. It felt like it was one-third memoir, two-thirds reference book.
Overall, I found this book insightful and enlightening, and I really enjoyed reading it. My only criticism is that the synopsis could be a bit more clear about how the book reads almost like a reference book with some memoir mixed in. I would have loved this book more if it had been more about Petersen’s own life and anxiety battle.
I definitely agree with the last sentence of the synopsis:
Brave and empowering, this is essential reading for anyone who knows what it means to live on edge.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for sending me this book in exchange for an unbiased review.