Unusual Phobias: Background information when reading My Age of Anxiety

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My Age of Anxiety

Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind

by Scott Stossel

My Age of Anxiety
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2014, 416 pages
    Feb 2015, 416 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elena Spagnolie

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Unusual Phobias

Snow covered trees in GermanyIn My Age of Anxiety, Scott Stossel - journalist and editor of The Atlantic magazine - describes, in intimate detail, how stressful living with a phobia can be. According to the American Psychological Association, a phobia is a "persistent and irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that is excessive and unreasonable, given the reality of the threat," and in Stossel's case, he suffers from at least ten, including emetophobia (fear of vomiting – there's an entire chapter on this), agoraphobia (fear of crowded spaces or enclosed public places), and even turophobia (fear of cheese). After a little research, I was interested to find out that turophobia is just one of many uncommon and surprising phobias that exist in the world:

  • Metrophobia (fear of poetry)- Though it is often unclear what causes (and could treat) a particular phobia, it sometimes begins with a traumatic experience in childhood. The fear of poetry could potentially go back to a child's first ...

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