What You Must Think of Me: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager's Experience with Social Anxiety Disorderby Emily Ford, Michael Liebowitz, Linda Wasmer Andrews
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We've all felt occasional pangs of shyness and self-consciousness, but for the 15 million Americans with social anxiety disorder, the fear of being scrutinized and criticized can reach disabling proportions. Such was the case for Emily Ford, who shares her firsthand experiences in these pages. Emily's true story of fear, struggle, and ultimate triumph is sure to resonate with other socially anxious teenagers and young adults. Emily's frank, often witty, sometimes poignant account of how she negotiated all the obstacles of social anxiety--and eventually overcame them with the help of therapy and hard work--makes for compelling reading. Yet this book is more than just a memoir. Emily's story is coupled with the latest medical and scientific information about the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and self-management of social anxiety disorder (or SAD). Readers will find a wealth of solid advice and genuine inspiration here. In engaging, accessible language--and with the help of psychiatrist Michael Liebowitz--she discusses what is known and not known about social anxiety disorder in adolescents. She outlines the various psychotherapies available for those with SAD and explains how to seek professional help, how to talk to family and friends about the illness, and how to handle difficult social situations. The result is both an absorbing story and a useful guide that will help to ease the isolation caused by SAD, encouraging young people to believe that, with commitment and hard work, they can overcome this illness. Part of the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative series of books written specifically for teens and young adults, What You Must Think of Me will also be a valuable resource for friends and family of those with SAD. It offers much-needed hope to young people, helping them to overcome this illness and lead healthy, productive lives.
Gr 10 Up Ford tells a compelling story of how, at age 27, she has finally learned to cope with the social anxiety disorder that has plagued her for most of her life. She describes her family, high school, and college experiences, and the severe depression, compulsive behaviors, and eating disorders that also afflicted her. A clear expository text that gives facts about the disorder and its treatment is interspersed with the narrative. It explains that these separate mental illnesses can go hand in hand with social anxiety disorder, but that everyone who suffers from social anxiety does not necessarily also exhibit signs of other mental illnesses. Ford is equally forthcoming about the low she reached before she sought professional help and her success in controlling her symptoms with a combination of medications and the support of an excellent therapist. An exceptional choice for students and teachers alike, this book is a useful and easy-to-use resource and a gripping memoir.-Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
"Ford bravely offers an accurate account of the frustrations of Social Anxiety Disorder, and the paths to treatment, including how to navigate the difficulties of the mental health system, how to identify an expert in SAD, and how to make the most of the therapeutic experience. This will be an excellent resource for adolescents, young adults, and their parents."Dean McKay, Ph.D., ABPP, Department of Psychology, Fordham University
"With warmth, candor and insight, this highly gifted young writer shares her personal struggle with a serious yet treatable disorder that is often misdiagnosed and grossly misunderstood. Emily takes the reader along on her courageous journey towards recovery, while offering solid information, help and hope to individuals suffering from social anxiety disorder, as well as to family members and friends who want to help."Jerilyn Ross, MA, LICSW, Director, The Ross Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders, Washington, D.C., and author Triumph Over Fear
Meet the Author
Emily Ford grew up in a rural farming community in the most northern regions of New York State. She has a Master's Degree in Secondary English Education and is involved in mental health consumer advocacy. She lives in Washington, DC with her dog Zsa Zsa. Michael Liebowitz, M.D. is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is also the author of Chemistry of Love and Social Phobia: Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment. Linda Wasmer Andrews is a freelance science writer. Her books include If Your Adolescent Has Depression or Bipolar Disorder: An Essential Resource for Parents, with Dwight Evans (OUP 2005), and If Your Adolescent Has an Anxiety Disorder: An Essential Resource for Parents, with Edna Foa (OUP, 2006).
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