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Anxiety as an Ally: How I Turned a Worried Mind into My Best Friend
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Anxiety as an Ally: How I Turned a Worried Mind into My Best Friend

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  825 ratings  ·  59 reviews
After experiencing his first panic attack on New Year’s Day of 2003, Dan Ryckert began a 12-year process of learning how to channel panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder until they became driving forces in his life. Using anxiety as his ally, he was able to land dream jobs within the video game industry and vastly improve the quality of his personal life.

In this
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Kindle Edition, 220 pages
Published March 15th 2015 by Up To Something Publishing
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  825 ratings  ·  59 reviews


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George Keaton
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
The first time I heard Dan Ryckert was on an E3 episode of the Giant Bombcast, where he was a guest. He described a prank he pulled in which he set up a fake account of a 'generic hot girl' on OK cupid in order to mess with total strangers. It was a pretty funny story, although I thought it was a little insane to prank random horny internet dudes. That was in 2011.

Skip ahead to 2015 and Dan is an editor at Giant Bomb. He has admitted to quite a few bits of ignorance/craziness. Dan cooked egg
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Daniel
Sep 24, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a bit of a weird case. I like Dan a lot as a personality on Giant Bomb, and especially on his life advice podcast Danswers. While initially presenting himself as kind of an idiot, he has since uncovered layers of sweetness, perseverance, and a good-natured desire to see everyone reach their full potential. Unfortunately as a writer, he's pretty weak, his writing lacking rhythm or flair. It's all very simple and to-the-point.

As such, I didn't actually love reading this book. But, as
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Robert Bevill
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Dan Ryckert since years ago when he first appeared on the Giant Bombcast as a guest. He's quickly become one of the people whose opinions I consider the most when it comes to video games, and while on camera he always comes off as a goofy, laid-back sort of guy, I was not surprised at all when I found out he suffers from anxiety.

Personally, I don't suffer from it nearly the level Dan talks about in his book. I've never had a panic attack, I've never had to seek medication for
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Thom Blackburn
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It gives such a personal account of a successful life lived with a pretty bad case of anxiety and pragmatic solutions for those who already have it. Inspiring read.
Jennifer
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably the most helpful thing I've read on anxiety, giving real life situations and how to deal with them, super recommend if you suffer with GAD or panic disorders.
Evan Wachowski
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun, simple read full of anecdotal anti-anxiety tips and hilarious stories by dan Ryckert. I definitely enjoyed reading this book, especially as a fan of Dans work with giant bomb, but I’m not sure how affected I would have been by it if it hadn’t been written by someone I already look up to. If nothing else, this book has opened me up to doing more research on the techniques dan uses for combatting anxiety, but those looking for a catch-all anti anxiety book will likely be better off looking ...more
Rob Gruszecki
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Everything will be alright and you’re not alone
Christopher Shawn
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dan Ryckert, a popular Internet Person, may be a professional idiot, but he DOES occasionally have lucid moments in which he seems like a real human being.

This quasi-memoir chronicles Dan's battles with anxiety, beginning when he was in college. This is not a touchy-feely self-help book, it is a frank look at what anxiety is, what it feels like, and how to live with it.

An easy, quick read, and a great entry point for those looking to understand their, or a loved ones, anxiety, perhaps before
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Dan
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Dan as an online personality and reading his personal accounts was really engaging. He writes in such an honest and comforting way, and I found that I have some similar symptoms that he listed. It's nice knowing you're not alone, and knowing someone you look up to has dealt with it makes it a little easier.

Some great advice in here, but I can see people giving this book a pass if they don't know who Dan is. I really enjoyed it though.
Dawn Paul
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it.

It's great to hear a success story of someone dealing with anxiety. I too became too complacent and got taken by surprise by anxiety.
Skye Lansing
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't personally suffer from any anxiety disorders, but became interested in the book after hearing someone on youtube mention that reading it helped them with their anxiety. Since I have friends that do struggle with anxiety, this caught my attention and I decided to give it a read in the hope that it would give me some perspective on what they deal with.

I can honestly say that some of the things I learned surprised me. I already knew how serious anxiety attacks can become (one of my friends
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Samantha Pauly
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

This book is perfect for anyone who is or has been struggling with anxiety or panic. It reminded me to not be complacent in my recovery.
Holly Gruszecki
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
There is something about Dan Ryckert that is just so damn charming. He quickly became my favourite video game personality with that charm and his experiences as a normal, ambitious dude, living with anxiety demonstrates it even more. An easy and interesting read.
Brittany Makufka
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd say 3.5 stars. I'm having some trouble placing how I feel about this book.
Up front, I have no idea who Dan Ryckert is. I read the book because Justin McElroy suggested it on Twitter, and I'm dealing with my own anxiety issues. So, I read the book solely based on the fact that I thought the idea of anxiety as an ally was interesting.
That said, I found it to be a relatable book. I took his suggestions to heart. Those suggestions boiled down to - exercise, meditation, and facing fears head on.
...more
Devon
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-ebooks
My brother listens to the Giant Bombcast and, after hearing Dan Ryckert talk about his book, he bought it for me. I have a particularly dreadful cocktail of mental health issues, and my brother thought I might get some help, or insight, from the book - or at the very least enjoy it.

I did really enjoy reading Ryckert’s story, and seeing how, in some ways, his “descent” into anxiety mirrored my own (he had his first panic attack in a movie theater, for example, and so did I). It was fascinating
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Eileen
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan Hays
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Anxiety is something I’ve struggled with, and simultaneously ignored for as long as i can remember. It’s only been very recently after some significant life changes that I’ve had the opportunity to reflect and realize how I’ve allowed it to mould my personality and habits over the years.

Part of this awakening stemmed from Dan Rykert, the author of Anxiety as An Ally. I’ve been a fan of his for some time through his work at giantbomb, and his openness regarding his own struggles tipped me off and
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Kaitlin
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My boyfriend and I are familiar with Dan's work (and antics) at Giant Bomb, so I was very interested in reading this book. Overall, it was a good read, and I enjoyed it throughout.

Dan makes clear from the beginning that he is not a medical professional, nor an expert in mental health issues, so as long as you approach it with that in mind, it's an enjoyable read. It's also helpful to keep in mind that this is a self-published work. Despite all of that, the book read as extremely genuine -- Dan
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Michael
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As an anxiety sufferer whose symptoms are now mostly under control, this was a great book to read. At times I feel that Dan Ryckert was describing my life as he was telling his story. My first panic attack also happened in a movie theater. I was also initially reluctant to try medication. Some therapy, meditation, and medication helped me manage and get back to living normally. Dan's story is mostly the same.

If you're suffering from anxiety Dan Ryckert's advice would be to meditate, exercise,
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Paul J
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you're at all familiar with Dan Ryckert's work with Game Informer and Giant Bomb, it might come as a surprise to learn that he suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. Anxiety as an Ally details his history with those conditions and how he has managed to harness anxiety into a positive influence. Although I don't suffer with either of those afflictions, I found it an inspiring read and very motivational (particularly his rule of attacking situations that scare you head on) without ever ...more
Tobias Langhoff
Sep 12, 2016 rated it liked it
This book basically reads like a long blog post about the author’s personal struggle with anxiety, and how he overcame it. It’s not deep or profound, but it’s an easy read that might help some people. If you just want the author’s tips, without the stories from his life: Meditate, drink less alcohol and caffeine, and willfully enter situations that make you anxious so you learn how to master them. That last one is probably a hurdle that won’t help many serious sufferers of anxiety, but it worked ...more
Keith
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Found this book massively reassuring, it's very comforting to read about the things you struggle with described in ways you can relate to like this. And I found it very relate-able - like Dan Ryckert, despite everything in life going swimmingly and somehow stumbling into my dream job in games, anxiety (and the worry about how I come across to other people as a result of said anxiety) is still something I deal with often when interacting with others.

Just reading this put my mind at ease about a
...more
David Stewart
Apr 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned
I've been listening to Dan on Giantbomb for however long he's been on the podcast, and if you'd have told me at the start that he had this kind of depth to him, I'd have probably laughed. He talked about wrestling and drinking, and though he was funny and a good fit for the podcast, his having anxiety wasn't something I'd have considered.

But listening to him more, I have seen some depth to him, and this book really pushes that home for me. So much of what he's going through parallels many of my
...more
Michael
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Dan Ryckert is a terrific writer and his accounts of his anxiety will help others tackle their own anxiety. It's a short read and currently free to Kindle Prime subscribers. Even if you're not a Kindle subscriber I would recommend picking it up if you struggle with anxiety.

Dan doesn't come from a place of a therapist or expert in treating individuals with anxiety. But he is an expert in tackling a lifelong battle with anxiety. His experience and stories
...more
Leah
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book does exactly what Dan promises, and reminds anyone struggling with anxiety that they are not alone. It's relatable, easy to read, and provides some really helpful suggestions for things to try, although he doesn't promise that it will work the same for everyone, which I really liked. It also creates a very accurate glimpse of what it is like to live with anxiety and to struggle with the realization that there is no 'ultimate' cure. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone ...more
Kelli
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really good book that was purchased for me as a gift from someone who knew my struggles with anxiety. About 2 weeks after finishing this book, I was fired from my job, and at no point did I have a panic or anxiety attack about it, and I feel that I can only contribute that to having read this book prior. I recommend it to any of my friends with anxiety. It is not the best "self help" book, but it gives you an idea of how others struggle with anxiety. It gave me a bit of a grip on my own anxiety ...more
Jess
Dec 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I really like Dan Ryckert and that hasn't changed after reading this. I think that he definitely wants the reader to "better themselves" in order to help take control of their anxiety. However, the only issue I have is that this is only Dan's form of, quite honestly, very mild anxiety. If you are trying to find an author to relate to and are a sufferer of intense anxiety, that is not what this book is here for.
Laura
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderfully direct account of the author’s anxiety disorders, from onset and the efforts to obtain diagnosis, to his current state of relatively anxiety-free living. The straightforward way that Dan shares his journey is very easy to read. As a sufferer of anxiety myself, his descriptions of his struggles with the disorder and how he learned to manage it over time are reassuring to read, and I think this book would be helpful to anyone who has, or knows someone with, anxiety.
Lisa
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I've been familiar with Dan's gaming career for a long time, and I would have never thought he had anxiety. While it was very interesting and enlightening to read about his experiences and what worked for him, I felt like there was a lot of repetition that made the end product a bit bland. Even though this is a short book, I feel like it could have been even shorter by a couple dozen pages. But I like learning more about public figures whom I enjoy, so overall a decent read for me.
Mike
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-reads
There’s no hubris or vanity in Mr. Ryckert’s writing. He struggles with anxiety but he found a way to not only cope with it but to strive because of it. By his own omission he’s no expert in the field. He just knows what’s been working for him and he clearly hopes his experience with anxiety can help others. This book is well written and contains easily digestible material. It’s an excellent book.
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