Growing up, I thought I was an anxious person. I was shy and deathly afraid of heights. Turns out I’m just normal and anxiety is a normal part of the human condition. Who knew?! Daniel Smith’s anxiety, however, is outside that normal range. In his memoir Monkey Mind Smith tells how his extreme anxiety impacted his family, friends, school, employment, travels and condiment choosing abilities.

 

Overall I liked the book. Smith has a strong voice and keen sense of humor. If you know anyone with real anxiety issues (or perhaps that someone is you), give this book a try. It’s got the right amount of heart and a nice sense of confession, as all memoirs should. The downside for me came in the scientific/diagnostic asides. Smith doesn’t seem to trust that we, his dear readers, are smart enough to understand the basics of psychological care. I hate when writers talk down to me. I know it’s a fine line to walk but I’d rather close a book feeling like I learned something instead of feeling like I just slept through a Freshman Psych class.

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