Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life by Amanda Stern ’89. This is a book you can’t put down, and which stays with you long after you’ve finished it. It is certainly a must-read for practitioners of clinical psych. Rarely does someone with a particular disorder have the writing talent to convey what it is like from the inside. Little Amanda is in a perpetual state of anxiety. When she takes the ERB’s, she is so terrified of failure that she doesn’t fill in a single bubble. She is plagued by magical thinking – if I go away, someone will die. She needs to create a bold external persona which doesn’t coincide with her inner terrors.
Memoirs often are exercises in humility and Little Panic is no exception. But it is also the story of valiance. The creativity which was apparent in the two other works by Amanda that I have read extends to her life. She encounters daunting obstacles and bravely confronts and sometimes overcomes them.