BOOKSHELF A few brain-science books that have recently caught our eye
preparing them to fundamentally alter their relationship with the often- unwanted discomfort and unease of anxiety. Using the latest research and her own experience, Suzuki guides readers through the neural and biological processes of anxiety, emphasizing why learning to listen to (and not ignore) our sources of worry and discomfort trains us for dwelling comfortably on the knife’s edge of good anxiety—a reliable source of motivation and heightened focus we can tap into to increase productivity and quality of life. A compelling guidebook, Good Anxiety is poised to complement the moment. Committed: Dispatches from a Psychiatrist in Training by Adam Stern (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) An incoming psychiatry resident at Harvard Medical School, Adam Stern found himself training alongside brilliant minds with prestigious pedigrees from the halls of Yale, Duke, and, of course,
Harvard. As a graduate of the lesser- known State University of New York’s Medical University in Syracuse, Stern was quickly subsumed by a lack of confidence in his own abilities. In his memoir Committed , Stern, now an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a practicing psychiatrist, chronicles his and his fellow 14 residents’ arduous trek to completing their Harvard residency training, capturing the intensity, whimsy, and near- constant struggle with self-doubt. Stern emphasizes the trainees’ growth as doctors and as people, vividly detailing the four years of the program and making sure to include some of the most challenging and rewarding patient portraits found within the psychiatric wards. While these patients’ stories of struggling with manic depression, schizophrenia, and anorexia nervosa are included in the work, the spotlight remains on the residents. A memoir that reads like a medical trainee journal infused with the essence of Grey’s Anatomy (the TV drama), Committed is a vibrant and realistic glimpse into the life of a resident psychiatrist. l
BY BRANDON BARRERA
Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion by Wendy Suzuki (Atria Books) A recent September
figure from the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey shows that 28 percent, or more than one in four, of U.S. adults reported experiencing anxiety indicators— symptoms such as uncontrollable worry, nervousness, or feeling on edge—in the previous week. In the face of this age of anxiety, New York University neuroscientist and author of Healthy Brain, Happy Life Wendy Suzuki suggests approaching anxiety with a paradigm-shifting (if seemingly counter-intuitive) idea: anxiety, mind you, is actually beneficial and crucial for motivating optimal living. In Good Anxiety, Suzuki provides readers with tools that go beyond effectively managing anxiety,
J. Allan Hobson, M.D. , a psychiatrist and pioneering sleep researcher who disputed Freud’s view that dreams held hidden psychological meaning. — A Dana Alliance
Elaine Snell , a contributor to the Dana Foundation over the last 25 years beginning in 1997 when she spearheaded press efforts to inform the public, media, and neuroscience
for Brain Initiatives member, Hobson was a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. Over a career that spanned more than four decades, his own research and that of others showed that sleep is crucial to normal cognitive and emotional function, including learning and memory. In more than 20 books—among them The Dreaming Brain (1988); Dreaming as Delirium : How the Brain Goes Out of its Mind (1999), and Dream Self (2021), a memoir—he popularized his research and that of others, including the findings that sleep begins in utero and is essential for tissue growth and repair throughout life.
community of the launch of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB). — Snell’s skill in science communication contributed to many Dana Foundation and EDAB efforts, including the success of our Brain Awareness Week campaign throughout Europe. She helped develop more than 150 programs for public debate and dialogue on issues in contemporary science at Dana Centre at the London Science Museum. With Foundation support, Snell ran the press office at FENS Forum since their first meeting in 1998. From 2012 to 2015, she served as chief operating officer of the British Neuroscience Association and subsequently served in the same capacity for the International Neuroethics Society.
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