Harper Wave Books: Unexpected Perspectives on Mind, Body, and Soul

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The Anatomy of Anxiety

Understanding and Overcoming the Body's Fear Response

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About the Book

From acclaimed psychiatrist Dr. Ellen Vora comes a groundbreaking understanding of how anxiety manifests in the body and mind—and what we can do to overcome it.

Anxiety effects more than forty million Americans—a number that continues to climb in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While conventional medicine tends to view anxiety as a “neck-up” problem—that is, one of brain chemistry and psychology—the truth is that the origins of anxiety are rooted in the body.

In The Anatomy of Anxiety, holistic psychiatrist Dr. Ellen Vora offers nothing less than a paradigm shift in our understanding of anxiety and mental health, suggesting that anxiety is not simply a brain disorder but a whole-body condition. In her clinical work, Dr. Vora has found time and again that the symptoms of anxiety can often be traced to imbalances in the body. The emotional and physical discomfort we experience—sleeplessness, brain fog, stomach pain, jitters—is a result of the body’s stress response. This physiological state can be triggered by challenging experiences as well as seemingly innocuous factors, such as diet and use of technology.

The good news is that this body-based anxiety, or, as Dr. Vora terms it, “false anxiety,” is easily treated. Once the body’s needs are addressed, Dr. Vora reframes any remaining symptoms not as a disorder but rather as an urgent plea from within. This “true anxiety” is a signal that something else is out of balance—in our lives, in our relationships, in the world. True anxiety serves as our inner compass, helping us recalibrate when we’re feeling lost.

Practical, informative, and deeply hopeful, The Anatomy of Anxiety is the first book to fully explain the origins of anxiety and offer a detailed road map for healing and growth.

About the Author

Ellen Vora

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