Study Up for ‘Think’: Anxiety, The Most Common Illness In America | KERA News

Study Up for ‘Think’: Anxiety, The Most Common Illness In America

Feb 9, 2015

Why are more than 40 million Americans in a state of anxiety? At 1 p.m., Think host Krys Boyd will talk to Scott Stossel, Atlantic magazine editor and the author of My Age of Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind. 

"I have, since the age of about 2, been a twitchy bundle of phobias, fears and neuroses," Scott Stossel writes in an Atlantic essay adapted from his book. 

Stossel walks us through his childhood when he feared abandonment, his parents dying and being onstage, which had him hiding in bathroom stalls during awards ceremonies.  

Since then, he's suffered from claustrophobia, aerophobia, and acrophobia. He's feared everything from vomiting to cheese.  This has hindered his daily life, even worrying guests at his wedding who saw him in a diaphoretic state (profusely sweating.)

Stossel has tried nearly every drug; a combination of Inderal, Vokda, and Xanax helps him manage public speaking gigs.  Americans like him constantly weigh success and and ridicule, Stossel says, making it impossible to overcome fear. 

Listen to Think Monday through Thursday at noon and 9 p.m. on KERA 90.1  or stream the show live.