For years, Daniel Smith suffered from bouts of acute anxiety, extended episodes without any apparent cause that seized control of his body and mind, leaving him an emotional wreck. Sleep was impossible and headaches and nausea haunted his days. Anxiety threatened his sanity and jeopardized his relationships. He had a prestigious job, a comfortable apartment, and caring friends—but, according to his therapists, nothing seemed to be wrong. Now in paperback, Monkey Mind ($15.00) is the story of how one man finally learned to live with—and laugh at—his own anxiety issues. Smith shares his own hilarious and heart-wrenching story from his first severe episode at age sixteen to his discovery of the author Philip Roth, who made anxiety seem noble, to his first job, which nearly drove him to distraction, to his struggle to give up the endless cycle of hand-wringing angst in order to keep the love of his life.
Daniel Smith is the author of Muses, Madmen, and Prophets and a contributor to the Atlantic, New York magazine, the New York Times magazine, and Slate. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Daniel Smith's Monkey Mind is the stunning articulation of what it is like to live with anxiety. As he travels through anxiety's demonic layers, Smith defangs the disorder with great humor and evocatively expresses its self-destructive absurdities and painful internal coherence.