Monkey Mind : A Memoir of Anxiety, Paperback

Monkey Mind : A Memoir of Anxiety Paperback

2 out of 5 (3 ratings)


For years, Daniel Smith suffered from bouts of acute anxiety, extended episodes without any apparent cause that seized control of his body and mind, leaving him an emotional wreck.

Sleep was impossible and headaches and nausea haunted his days.

Anxiety threatened his sanity and jeopardized his relationships.

He had a prestigious job, a comfortable apartment, and caring friends-but, according to his therapists, nothing seemed to be wrong.

Now in paperback, Monkey Mindis the story of how one man finally learned to live with-and laugh at-his own anxiety issues.

Smith shares his own hilarious and heart-wrenching story from his first severe episode at age sixteen to his discovery of the author Philip Roth, who made anxiety seem noble, to his first job, which nearly drove him to distraction, to his struggle to give up the endless cycle of hand-wringing angst in order to keep the love of his life.

Through medication, endless psychoanalysis, self-imposed isolation, and meditation, Smith finally makes peace with his restless mind and becomes the husband and father he longs to be. Whether you suffer from clinical anxiety or an overdose of modern life in our "Age of Anxiety," Monkey Mind's combination of wit, candour, and serious advice will help you live in the moment instead of inside your own head.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Memoirs
  • ISBN: 9781439177310



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

I could not finish this book. It was meant to be humorous, but the humor annoyed me. It had flashes of really interesting insights about anxiety (such as the story about how his mother conquered her anxiety). However, most of the book lacked those insights.

Review by

Rather dull memoir of one man's experience of living with anxiety.

Review by

This memoir explores the boundaries of the author’s severe anxiety—describing what it is like to live with anxiety. Daniel Smith was raised in an anxious family consisting of two anxious parents and a brother suffering from hypochondria. Smith’s anxiety began in childhood. By his mid-20s, he had suffered multiple serious anxiety attacks. Smith uses his own episodes of anxiety to explore the various forms and facets of anxiety. If you're interested in this book to discover anxiety cures or ways of managing anxiety, you will be largely disappointed. Smith presents a picture of anxiety but only gives a few pages of how he has dealt with it. Mostly, this memoir meanders about and eventually goes nowhere. Smith often loses his focus or goes off on a tangent. I was hoping for more. 2 out of 5 stars.