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Hi, Anxiety: Life With a Bad Case of Nerves
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Hi, Anxiety: Life With a Bad Case of Nerves

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,082 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Joining the ranks of such acclaimed accounts as Manic, Brain on Fire, and Monkey Mind, a deeply personal, funny, and sometimes painful look at anxiety and its impact from writer and commentator Kat Kinsman.

Feeling anxious? Can’t sleep because your brain won’t stop recycling thoughts? Unable to make a decision because you're too afraid you’ll make the wrong one? You’re not
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Dey Street Books (first published April 26th 2016)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Book Riot Community
Kinsman discusses her lifelong battle with depression and anxiety and explains why she believes people shouldn’t be afraid to come forward and get the help they need. A very brave and wonderful memoir, infused with a lot of humor and heart. She does a wonderful job bringing humor to a hard situation.

Backlist bump: Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom by Sara Benincasa

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Laurie Notaro
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kat Kinsman is my twin, so I naturally feel sorry for her. Funny, wry, sometimes brutal memoir about life riddled with anxiety. I related far too much than I thought I would!!
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hi, Anxiety is a masterfully written memoir that takes readers deep inside the experiences Kinsman has had living with the title ailment. She does an excellent job at vividly showing both the long-term effects anxiety has had on her life, in ways big and small, as well as how she's coped with it. Because so much of mental illness is invisible, this is a vital book in helping those who have no idea what anxiety is like to understand its real, powerful consequences, and Kinsman never flinches from ...more
biblio_mom (Aiza)
May 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I pick up a good book during a bad day to read. As the mental health awareness month almost ended, I randomly pick this one out to read. I finished it within a couple of days and oh boy, i am triggered! obviously i do. because i have anxiety too.

so kat kinsman, wrote about and talked about her lifelong battle with depression and anxiety. from childhood when it happened after seeing her mother battling it, growing up as a teenager, towards adulthood.

she took a few different of prescriptions aft
Margarita Garova
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
A very intense and brave account of what it feels like to have a crippling and debilitating case of anxiety. I salute the author for having the courage to relate her experience and the listening to her own voice made it all the more personal and at times painful to witness the suffering of another human being, albeit indirectly. What I didn't particularly enjoy about this book is the dense and chaotic storytelling which makes it difficult to follow (I, for one, prefer a more straightforward appr ...more
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This book. Wow.

I've joked about being agoraphobic in the past, and this book made me realize: Oh hey, that's not really a joke, and also, you are definitely agoraphobic.

This book made me realize that I was more anxious than I thought I was, and that I've been carrying it with me for my entire life. That this weight on my shoulders might not just be "the way it is" and instead it's "the way it is... with crippling, life-altering anxiety."

I related to Kat Kinsman's life and her experiences more
Erika Provenzano
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wasn't a fan of this book. I found myself really working hard to pay attention and to actually finish it. The only reason why I am giving it 2 stars is because she has a good sense of humour, and there were funny moments. But other than that, I really didn't feel this was a book about anxiety. It had a few moments where she would talk about anxiety in some detail but then would tell us more random stories that I really didn't feel were relevant. I just felt the book didn't really connect its t ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who let someone write my biography without my permission????

JK but really tho as someone with intense anxiety issues I found so much of this book relatable. Some of Kat's deepest fear chapters gave me secondhand anxiety :&!! She comes off as very warm and genuine; it feels like reading about a friend. A+ book would recommend to people with anxiety and people in general.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some of the scenes from this were scarily familiar. Recommended for anyone with anxiety, or anyone trying to understand it.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Most of the one-star reviews of this book center around some argument to the effect that the author's book strayed off-topic -- that it didn't talk enough about anxiety but, instead, told irrelevant stories about her life. The subtitle of this book: Life With a Bad Case of Nerves should make it clear to prospective readers that this book is autobiographical in nature and that it's about the author's life through the lens of how her anxiety has impacted that life. Readers who are looking for a bo ...more
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book touches on a lot of issues that I am quite familiar with. While my personal levels of anxiety differ from Kat's from situation (sometimes more, sometimes less), it's important to know that people have found ways to survive in this crazy, hectic, crowded world while dealing with the kind of thing I've been putting up with every day for as long as I can remember. The stories are both funny and sad, well presented, and heart-felt. This was an excellent read.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, nonfiction
Jenny Lawson's 'Furiously Happy' may have ruined me for all future memoirs about mental health issues. I not only deeply identified with some aspect of Lawson's depiction of her mental health issues, but I was incredibly entertained by her gift of story telling.

I also identified with some aspects of Kinsman experiences with anxiety. Unfortunately, I was just not entertained. It some parts of this book my anxiety was even triggered. This one was just not for me.
Thank you for this book, Kat. Our experiences are not exactly the same (you have a lot more support than I do, amongst other things) but I saw myself represented in your book and it means a lot to me. 💕
Liz Overberg
Really well written. Sometimes relatable, and other times not. I found the chronology to be very confusing. Various stories, even within the same essay, jump around in time and space in ways that are difficult to follow.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I rarely write reviews, but this book is well worth it. Hi, Anxiety: Life With a Bad Case of Nerves was something I never imagined I'd find when I started reading it. I'm not even sure how I came across it, but I did, and I'm forever grateful. When you spend each waking moment dealing with anxiety, you feel incredibly isolated. Few people truly understand what you're thinking and experiencing, and after a while, it's easier to hide it. Imagine my surprise when I saw myself in this book. Every ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The work was well done, but the more I listened I was of a mind that an entire couple of generations have been medicated into their roles. Kinsman had many "first names" for the drugs of her various anxieties, and she seems not alone. I am quite sure that a significant number of sufferers are little more than the victims of pharmaceutical success in marketing. I am glad that Kinsman seems to have found her way through the maze, but wonder if some people with garden variety jitters about some big ...more
Sarah Carr
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Kat's book, so much so that I found myself folding down the corners of pages to share with my partner or with friends. The book is comprised of shorter chapters describing 10 of her fears (many of which I could relate to!) and other chapters that were based on her anxiety journey, both what she experienced as a child as well as how she coped with it as an adult. I find the format of many vignettes works well for these types of books. I also appreciated how strongly Kat's voice c ...more
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
As someone who also deals with anxiety, I found myself nodding as I read parts of this book. Others didn't resonate quite so much, as (thankfully) my anxiety has not hit the levels Kinsman deals with (in part, because I am lucky enough not to have encountered the bullying and sociopathic behavior from boyfriends that she dealt with--those would be enough to give anyone issues), but were still interesting to read. I applaud the author's courage--she doesn't prettify the effects of anxiety, but th ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. The author is pretty unlikable and seems rather judgemental of other people’s definitions of mental illness. Also, half of her chapters on her “irrational fears” really aren’t all that irrational - they seem more of her personal opinions and preferences towards certain things and, to me, it felt like the underlying theme was “I think I’m special because I have this ‘irrational’ fear.” I don’t recommend if you are looking for mental health memoirs.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This wasn't exactly what I thought it would be but it was still quite valuable. Be ready to be confronted with the true brokenness of anxiety and depression. It isn't pretty, but it is important. This big gave me the ability to truly empathize with those who struggle in this way and gave me greater awareness of why it should be discussed openly and not stigmatized.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mental-health
I bought this book after reading a small section that made me laugh. There were plenty of "uncomfortable, I understand this far too well" laughs throughout the book. Some parts were a little slow but I am assuming that is more because biographies aren't my favourite thing. Even the slow parts managed to pull back nicely into the point of the book. It may be a worthwhile book for someone without anxiety issues to read in order to have a better understanding of how an anxious person's thought proc ...more
Apr 28, 2019 rated it liked it
An honest look into life with anxiety, I appreciated this honesty and raw glimpse but I had difficulty following her writing and storytelling. I know this is a product of her anxious mind, but I grew restless of trying to keep up and piece together the tangents of each story. I love that this conversation is being held and that she shares so much of what she’s experienced.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This read as more of a biography than a self help book. It was still interesting and VERY easy to relate to. The author lived an interesting life and doesn’t seem to hold back when discussing any aspect of it. I really enjoyed this book and hope to read more the author in the future.
Lauren AKA randomreader
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: awesome-4-stars
It isn't fair for books to read my mind, that's not fair, that's not cool.
Adibah Nur
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Did your throat close up just a little bit reading this? Spine prickle and tighten, stomach twitch, or did you feel the sweat pooling at the small of your back because it sounded painfully familiar? You’re not alone. There are millions of us struggling to fight anxiety in all its forms, every waking (and sometimes sleeping) hour of every day, and we’re suffering silently because we don’t want to be judged or add to anyone else’s burden”

Ahhh... yes. Just what I feel writing th
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
Partly self-help book but mostly memoir, I saw myself more than a few times in this author-narrated audiobook. I don't suffer quite as much as she does from anxiety, but I could relate to many experiences and feelings Kat Kinsman shared. I could have done with a bit less explicit discussion of her temporary stint as a dominatrix, but aside from that chapter, I very much enjoyed this book. Kat writes very well and is humorous to boot. Although this is mostly a very personal work, woven of stories ...more
Jenn Leininger
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you’ve ever wonder what life is like with this.
Lynne Nunyabidness
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, medicine
This book was a tough read from the first pages, where her description of what she experiences as she prepares to leave for a trip hit way the hell close to home. So close to home that I asked my husband to read it, to give him some insight into what's happening inside my brain and the rest of my body when I insist that we leave 40 minutes early to catch the bus to the airport that is a 10-minute drive from our apartment.

I had grabbed this from the library in large part because of her nomenclat
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself

Kat Kinsman has been dealing with anxiety and depression in their myriad forms her whole life, from her mother's retreats to her silent bedroom, to her own fearful hidings under the bed covers. Now "out" about her anxiety, Kinsman is done hiding what she has always felt, and is sharing her story.

As someone who has been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiet
Kristine Mckenna
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kat has a tough life with anxiety. She is honest and raw. You want her to do so well. She is honest enough to really let you in and let you know that it just can't be fixed like waving a magic wand. Kat’s life is not perfect and all the fears and anxiety don't vanish. She just figures out the best thing to do is stop hiding it. It helps to just be able to say, I suffer from anxiety, that's why I don't do this or that. She does this, and is still able to have a good life. All my best, keep going, ...more
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Hi there! I'm Kat Kinsman, senior food and drinks editor at Time Inc.'s Extra Crispy, former editor in chief and editor at large of Tasting Table and a former writer and editor for CNN. After I published a personal essay on my struggles with anxiety, people came out of the woodwork to share their own experiences and it felt like the beginning of a conversation that needs to happen.


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