We seem to be living through an epidemic of stress.
There are 15 million websites dedicated to the subject and Britain alone has over two million accredited therapists, counsellors and healers devoted to protecting us from what they claim is a debilitating disease.
But is there really a stress problem? In this brilliant and provocative analysis, Angela Patmore examines the confusion and controversy surrounding the whole concept, raising important questions about the treatments and advice that offer to cure it.
She argues that the health angst engendered by all this lucrative 'stress awareness' sends its victims in search of therapy and sedation and fuels an epidemic costing the UK billions.
Far from helping people cope with their problems and feelings, Patmore contends, the unregulated industry is harming them.
Her conclusions suggest we need to reappraise profoundly the way we understand our own health and well-being.