Paul Recommends Book on Adolescent Anxiety: Under Pressure

My #1 recommendation if you have a daughter

April 22, 2020
Cover art from book UNDER PRESSURE

Penguin Books

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Lately, with my time in "The Quar" I've been trying to read more and watch less TV. I'm having mixed success with accomplishing this - compliments of Tiger King!

But I have been incredibly impressed with an important book called "Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls." I've been thinking about this topic a ton over the past 5 years with having 2 teenage girls, who are now working their way through the new and old pressures of this modern world.

The author, Dr. Lisa Damour, makes the case for the need of extra attention and compassion to be directed at girls (and boys) today. It's so difficult to compare my childhood with anyone who's 18 and under today. We're talking 2 different worlds before the smartphone, social media and selfies. I'm so grateful for this great book and the solutions in it. I recommend it highly - after you finish Tiger King.

Can Anxiety be a good thing.... Check out this interview with the author.

Q: In your book, you talk about how anxiety has gotten a bad rap. When is it useful?

Damour: Anxiety is a normal, healthy and protective human function that alerts us to external threats. Say we’re driving and we can see in our rear-view mirror that someone has come up very fast and close behind us. It also alerts us to internal threats. Say we’re fooling around on social media when we really need to be getting ready for a meeting or doing homework: Our natural anxiety alarm will go off to tell us that need to take steps to address the problem.

Q: What does it look like when anxiety has gotten out of hand?

Damour: Anxiety is no longer healthy when the alarm breaks – when it goes off all the time for no reason, or when it blares over minor concerns such as when a student has a panic attack over a quiz.

Excerpt from book UNDER PRESSURE
paul cook pic