The Anatomy of Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming the Body's Fear Response

The Anatomy of Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming the Body's Fear Response

by Ellen Vora
The Anatomy of Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming the Body's Fear Response

The Anatomy of Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming the Body's Fear Response

by Ellen Vora


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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 affects 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063075092
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 03/15/2022
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 182,115
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Ellen Vora, MD, is a holistic psychiatrist, acupuncturist, and yoga teacher. She takes a functional medicine approach to mental health—considering the whole person and addressing imbalance at the root. Dr. Vora received her B.A. from Yale University and her M.D. from Columbia University, and she is board-certified in psychiatry and integrative holistic medicine. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. 

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I It's Not all in Your Head

Chapter 1 The Age of Anxiety 9

Chapter 2 Avoidable Anxiety 17

Chapter 3 Purposeful Anxiety 31

Part II False Anxiety

Chapter 4 The Anxiety of Modern Life 43

Chapter 5 Tired and Wired 47

Chapter 6 Techxiety 67

Chapter 7 Food for Thought 77

Chapter 8 Body on Fire 107

Chapter 9 Women's Hormonal Health and Anxiety 135

Chapter 10 The Silent Epidemic 155

Chapter 11 Discharging Stress and Cultivating Relaxation 167

Part III True Anxiety

Chapter 12 Tuning In 189

Chapter 13 This Is Why You Stopped Singing 223

Chapter 14 Connection Is Calming 239

Chapter 15 Holding On, Letting Go 257

Acknowledgments 265

Appendix: Herbs and Supplements for Anxiety 271

Notes 275

Index 325

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