When asked if there were any memorable moments while writing his second book, Your Anxiety Beast and You: A Compassionate Guide to Living in an Increasingly Anxious World illustrated by Louise Gardner (May 26, 2020, Exisle Publishing), clinical psychologist and anxiety disorders and OCD specialist, Dr. Eric Goodman, Ph.D, reveals he suffered an illness. “I signed the contract to write the book and was very excited to write it because I really want to help people learn to see anxiety in a different way,” he tells So Booking Cool. “We want to teach it and train it, not run from it or fight it. And then I got ill. I developed hyperparathyroidism, so one of my parathyroid glands went ballistic on me, and it gave me this brain fog where I couldn’t write. I couldn’t even understand my notes of what I’d written before it.” Fortunately, after a successful surgery, his brain recovered in weeks, and he completed the book.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and the stress it has inflicted on many, Your Anxiety Beast and You seems especially timely, which is why the release was moved from June to May. The book, mostly formatted as a workbook, was “selfishly” intended as a guide for Dr. Goodman’s clients. He also hopes doctors and therapists can use the book as a resource for their anxiety disorder patients. The overall mission is to help people realize that anxiety is not the enemy.
“Even though most of the time anxiety is overzealous and it gets it wrong, we need to have it because the world still is dangerous at times,” says Dr. Goodman. “If we lost the ability to experience anxiety, we would be dead or disabled. We have to have anxiety, and we have to have it for a lifetime. So we want it to be as discerning as it can be. We want it to know that if we need to public speak or fly on an airplane, we want it to learn that these things are not threats. And if we treat them like they are threats, then anxiety is going to do it’s job and try to protect us from it by triggering that fight or flight response.”
He likens the concept to holding a crying baby. It’s unpleasant that the baby is crying, but instead of squeezing it, one would (hopefully) hold the baby gently. It’s about showing compassion, hence the full title of Dr. Goodman’s book.
Watch the interview to learn more about Dr. Goodman including what inspired him to become a psychologist; his observations so far about COVID-19; his experience on working with his patients virtually; being introverted; social anxiety; the knowledge he acquired as student that he applies to teaching; how he has grown as an author since his first book Social Courage: Coping and thriving with the reality of social anxiety; and his plans on a children’s graphic novel book about anxiety; and more! For more information and/or to connect, visit Dr. Goodman on Twitter.