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.
'Impressive...detailed and deep...a great book about what fear and anxiety are...LeDoux is not afraid to take sides and positions...and you will start to think differently about what it means to be afraid'.
– Times Higher Education
'Wonderfully erudite, informative, and splendidly well written.'
– Daniel J. Levitin, author of The Organized Mind and This Is Your Brain On Music
'This marvellous book is science at its best... an absolute must read for clinicians and basic scientists as well as for anyone else interested in anxiety and its disorders.'
– Eric R. Kandel, Senior Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
'An exquisite and unique attempt to truly relate how neural cells lead to felt conscious states in the human mind—the toughest problem in all of science. LeDoux has thrown down the gauntlet and set the standard. I wish all of us working on the problem luck trying to beat this analysis.'
– Michael Gazzaniga, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of Tales from Both Sides of the Brain, Human, and The Social Brain
'Anxious is a profound, exciting and immensely useful work about one of our most troubling—and puzzling—emotions. Joseph LeDoux takes us behind the scenes of our own minds to show us not only how anxiety is constructed in the brain but how it can be deconstructed. This is neuroscience at its very best: helpful and hopeful without a hint of hyperbole.'
– Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts without a Thinker and The Trauma of Everyday Life
'In this tour de force, LeDoux artfully guides the reader from the unconscious defensive system, through attention and memory, to the conscious experience of fear and anxiety. His traverse from the unconscious to the conscious experience of emotion is rich in scientific detail and yet exquisitely readable. LeDoux completes his masterpiece with provocative discussions of therapies for anxiety. This book is a fascinating revelation of the evolution in LeDoux’s own scientific thinking and in the field at large and is a must read for any student of learning, memory or emotion.'
– Michelle G. Craske, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Director, Anxiety Disorders Research Center, UCLA
'LeDoux is a true leader in the field of cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology, yet he also has an uncanny ability to write beautifully and clearly. . . . A must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of the mind and brain, and how an understanding of psychology and neuroscience can change ourselves and the world around us!'
– Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University; Scientific Council Chair, Anxiety and Depression Association of America; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Member, National Academy of Sciences
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