In the wake of more people than ever talking openly about their mental health a plethora of books on the topic have popped up. It seems that everywhere you turn there is a new book seeking to explore and educate people on the complex world of mental health, and at the same time entertain. Author of Anxious Man goes so far as to admit that for many, mental health is seen as ‘trendy’ and yet he is very clear from the offset that everyone’s experience with mental health is different, describing it as a kind of smorgasbord of issues with everyone’s plate looking a little different.
He is completely right of course and there is added confidence in a book when the foreword is written by none other than the unelected spokesman for mental health, Stephen Fry. A man who speaks with such clarity on his own struggles that it is quite the recommendation for a book to open with his words.
Josh Roberts was just a regular twenty-something, middle class, white male when his body was assaulted from the inside by an anxiety disorder which quite literally took his breath away. In a perfectly packaged account of what it is to be anxious and with some wonderful guidance on how to work through it, Roberts has taken a monstrous experience and turned it into one that will no doubt help thousands.
Anxious Man does for Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) what Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive did for Clinical Depression – gives people with no personal experience of living with the condition a glimpse into what it feels like, and most importantly gives well-rounded, thoughtful advice on what those people can do to help those in their lives who may be suffering. Those who do have experience will most certainly also appreciate Roberts’ raw honesty and wry humour in dissecting the difficulties anxiety brings.