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Book Review Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Hi Anxiety

By Staff Editor
Nov 14, 2016 - 4:51:16 PM

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( - Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the U.S., yet less than half of those people receive treatment.  Even though it is the most common mental illness in this country, anxiety is widely misunderstood, often chalked up to nervousness, something that can be solved if someone just calms down, does yoga, relaxes, or some other reductive platitude.
Kat Kinsman knows from personal experience that anxiety is a lot more complicated than that.

Kat is Senior Food and Drinks Editor at Time Inc.’s all-breakfast site Extra Crispy, and one of the nation’s most respected food writers and personalities.  Throughout her life, and as she built her highly successful career, she wrestled with her anxiety disorder in secret. HI, ANXIETY:  Life With a Bad Case of the Nerves (Dey Street Books/HarperCollins; On-Sale Nov 15th, 2016) is the story of her personal journey living with anxiety, depression--and the power of going public.

Joining the ranks of such acclaimed accounts as Manic, Brain on Fire, and Monkey Mind, HI, ANXIETY is a deeply personal, funny, and sometimes painful look at anxiety and its impact.

HI, ANXIETY follows Kat’s journey coping with anxiety, and all of the quirky and unexpected turns her life has taken along the way.  She takes us back to her childhood in Kentucky, where her highly literate parents tried their best to guide and shelter their unique daughters.  As she watched her mother struggle with physical and mental illness, Kat figured out ways to deal with her own burgeoning worry and panic, like transitioning from a socially awkward, pop culture obsessed pre-teen to a teenage goth impervious to the charms of high school boys.  The reader follows Kat through the years she spent single and dating, including her stint as a dominatrix after a painful breakup.  We see how her alter ego, Mistress Cherry, became a balm to her nerves and a form of empowerment.

Kat provides a window into every funny and heartbreaking nuance of her anxiety – from her irrational, yet relatable, fears of awkward phone conversations, the dentist, and dancing in public, to her early career worries that she’d be found out as a fraud. We see Kat alternately disappear into herself, and heroically push past anxiety’s grip. We see her endure the grueling effects of medication, the stress of getting and losing jobs, and ultimately, we witness her finding lasting love with her husband, a career that continues to blossom, and the courage to share her reality with the world.

This book, and Kat’s work as an advocate for mental health awareness, was born out of two major articles she wrote for which revealed her lifelong struggles with anxiety. The response to these articles was overwhelming, and it was clear that the public was in dire need of an honest, encouraging voice to set the record straight on anxiety, how common it is, and why no one should have to bear the added pain of hiding it in plain sight.

HI, ANXIETY is a clarion call for everyone—but especially women—struggling with this condition. Though she is a strong advocate for seeking medical intervention, Kinsman implores those suffering to come out of the shadows—to talk about their battle openly and honestly. With humor, bravery, and writing that brings bestsellers like Laurie Notaro and Jenny Lawson to mind, HI, ANXIETY tackles a difficult subject with amazing grace.

About the Author


Kat Kinsman is senior food and drinks editor at Time Inc.'s Extra Crispy and former editor at large and editor in chief of Tasting Table. She is a frequent public speaker on the topics of food and mental health, and addresses their connection on her website Chefs with Issues. She is a former writer and editor for, where she was nominated for the James Beard Broadcast Award in the TV Segment category and won the 2011 EPPY Best Food Website for CNN's Eatocracy. After she published a personal essay on her struggles with anxiety for CNN Living, people came out of the woodwork to share their own experiences and it felt like the beginning of a conversation that needed to happen. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and various animals.


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