Library notes: Find books on anxiety, mental health at Rowan Public Library

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 9, 2022

By Sydney Smith

Rowan Public Library

A few months ago, I received a formal diagnosis for something I knew about myself my entire life. I have issues with anxiety — I always have. What the future holds makes me anxious, possible bad things happening makes me anxious, feeling anxious makes me feel even more anxious.

My doctor was reassuring and walked me through lots of ways to manage anxiety and make it much easier to handle on a daily basis. Being a librarian, I was inclined to ask: Did she have any good recommendations for books so I could read more on the topic? She certainly delivered.

To my joy, I was surprised to find many of her suggestions in the online catalog. Over the last few months, I’ve dedicated a hefty portion of my reading time to learning more about anxiety and how it functions in the body and mind.

“My Mess Is a Bit of a Life: Adventures in Anxiety,” a 2021 memoir by Georgia Pritchett, explores the author’s experiences with anxiety from childhood through her present life in a series of hilarious (and occasionally heart-wrenching) vignettes. One of Pritchett’s central messages focuses on how a person can accept anxiety as a part of their life without it becoming overwhelming and all-consuming.

Another fantastic memoir, “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson, also talks about dealing with anxiety in a highly relatable yet hilariously ridiculous way. Lawson discusses her own struggles and coping mechanisms she’s used to combat anxiety while also touching on a host of other mental health issues that feature in her life, including depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

In a more scientific approach than the previous memoirs, “Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion” by Wendy Suzuki approaches anxiety a bit differently. Rather than viewing anxiety as a mental health ailment, Suzuki describes how people with anxiety can rethink the way they approach having it by leveraging it to their advantage.

To find even more titles about anxiety (and a wide variety of other mental health topics), visit to browse the online catalog, call 980-432-8670 to connect with preferred RPL location, or visit any branch during business hours for assistance.

Sydney Smith is a librarian and branch supervisor at Rowan Public Library’s East Branch.

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