Contrary to the witty title, How to Live in Fear: Mastering the Art of Freaking Out is not a laughable memoir or anything of the sort; it’s quite serious. Author Lance Hahn begins by telling his history through the lens of an anxiety disorder he says he’s had since the age of six. Next, Hahn offers advice on living with an anxiety disorder based on his experience. The final third of the book is dedicated to Hahn’s biblical perspectives in helping those go through life as he has. His conclusions:
1) It’s uncontrollable, but your mind is your own, so you can control it. (I’m still not sure exactly where he really stands with this.)
2) Do things to keep your mind off of the source and triggers of your anxiety. (I’m concerned about some of his stated hobbies that appear to only work on symptoms and may be fueling other vices.)
3) Take meds if necessary. (His recalling of conversations imply he has seen an family practitioner and a counselor; no mention of a psychiatrist or anyone who could potentially really help with the mind, not just the body or an ear to hear.)
4) Remember that God is good, sovereign, and will heal you; but until that healing comes, which may not be in this life, have hope, pray, study the Bible, and worship Him. (This can be applied to all who suffer.)
A doctor does not write this book; it’s a Christian dude who left a stressful job in insurance to be a career pastor (p. 107) who suffers and hopes to help others through the same kind of struggle. It should be read and understood as such. My observation from the stories and advice given by Hahn, for whatever it’s worth, is that a possible source of his anxiety is a fear of failing and not being in control. Subtleties in the text point to the potential of his current job fueling the problem. One such instance is his assertion of his control by assuming he is the reader’s “temporary pastor through the course of this book” (p. 111). Of course, I’m not a doctor, just a Christian dude sharing his experience.
The book contains 199 pages of material, in which thirty or more of filler could be easily trimmed. However, it may prove beneficial to some as is, so long as they remember this ought not be taken as medical advice and should perhaps be read with someone else for perspective.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”