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Four months later, I signed my final divorce papers, had to put my year-old dog to sleep, and had a medical scare with a frightening test procedure all in the same week. And I redeveloped GAD very fast. It was worse this time, and going back on the medicine did not provide the same rapid cure. After three months of utter misery and many different combinations of medications, I tried to end my pain with an overdose.

Two weeks after that, I made a violent suicide attempt. I ended up in the hospital: ICU for three weeks and the psychiatric ward for three more. When I was released, I weighed 93 pounds on my 5'7" frame. While I was in a haze of morphine and pneumonia, the doctors had stabilized me once again on my original medication and dose.

When I came to, I was no longer anxious. But I was overwhelmed by the tasks before me: It was a long process with many setbacks. With the help of health professionals and my family and friends, as well as staying on my medication, I not only got my life back, I gained a second career as an advocate for the mentally ill.

At one presentation, I was honored to thank personally the two paramedics who saved my life on the day of my suicide attempt. I have also written a book chronicling my illness and recovery and what I have learned about mental disorders. My aim now is to give those suffering from anxiety hope and to prevent them from doing what I did. I firmly believe that if I can feel better, anyone can. ADAA is not a direct service organization.

My Battle with Anxiety by L. My Battle with Anxiety 4.

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When I was 38, my charmed life began to unravel. By 41, I had developed Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At 44, I was hospitalized for seven weeks following a catastrophic suicide attempt. This non-fiction book begins on the Saturday morning I received the call that ever after divided time for me: It describes the additional hardships When I was 38, my charmed life began to unravel. It describes the additional hardships - infertility, layoffs, a cross-country move, divorce - that led to the day I took a razor blade to my throat. It follows my journey from Atlanta to Athens, Georgia; central Oregon; and finally back to my roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, as well as my emotional journey from happily married stay-at-home mom to divorced secretary and single parent.

Most importantly, it chronicles my battle with an insidious mental illness, my experiences in two psychiatric wards, and how I fought my way back to health.

During this six-year journey, I learned a great deal about the nature of mental disorders and the availability of effective treatment. I became certified as an "In Our Own Voice" presenter for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, so I can do my part to raise public understanding of why we must stop drawing a distinction between "mental" and "physical" health.

The body functions as a whole. Surgeon General estimates that one in five Americans suffers from a mental illness in any given year -- everyone knows someone. I know the despair of hitting bottom, and I know the absolute necessity of hope. This book is about both. View the trailer at: Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about What Doesn't Kill Us , please sign up.

Lists with This Book. Aug 01, Ruth rated it it was amazing. By chance, I met the author and heard the story firsthand. Compelled to read her courageous battle with anxiety, I sat down to read the book and finished it in one day. Having gone through what she had, her writing reflects an honest, intelligent, and remarkably funny woman.

Never does she ask for pity or hide her despondency, instead, she relies upon her candor and quick wit to lead the reader into her beautifully woven tale of suffering. It sounds much like an oxymoron, but as I read, I was as By chance, I met the author and heard the story firsthand. It sounds much like an oxymoron, but as I read, I was astounded at how well the book was written while detailing a horrific act of self-destruction.

What Doesn't Kill Us: My Battle with Anxiety by L.A. Nicholson

Her pain and suffering were palpable; the reader is inside her heart and mind at a moment of great despair. You may want to look away from the page, but LA handles the "scene" deftly and without being overly dramatic. It is pure, raw emotion translated into sensible words. Which really describes the entire book. LA's tenacity and climb out of the darkness is admirable. Her insight and understanding into a topic that many wish to sweep under the rug is bold and daring.

What Doesn't Kill Us: My Battle with Anxiety

You can't help but feel as though you've taken this journey with her. I am in awe of LA's ability to translate this experience into an opportunity to save others from this broken path. Finally, I'm honored to have met her and witness firsthand the full, happy life she is living today. What a message to send to the world. She can and is making a difference. Jan 30, Sarah rated it really liked it Shelves: I read this for a class as part of a project on Generalized Anxiety Disorder and am glad this is the memoir I ended up reading.

What an incredible story! What's even more incredible is L. Nicholson's honesty and bravery in sharing such a personal and traumatic story. Her story is helping me better understand this mental illness, and I hope stays with me as I move closer toward becoming a mental health professional who very well may come across individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, a I read this for a class as part of a project on Generalized Anxiety Disorder and am glad this is the memoir I ended up reading.

Her story is helping me better understand this mental illness, and I hope stays with me as I move closer toward becoming a mental health professional who very well may come across individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, and suicide. This book is full of moments that are happy, sad, scary, frustrating, and shocking but in a way that can only lead one to having a better idea of what Nicholson went through and what others may be experiencing as well.

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It ends with hope and promise of a brighter future, as well as my own personal conviction of being a therapist who is encouraging and kind and able to offer such hope and promise perhaps to my own clients one day. Jan 31, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing. An absorbing and well-written account of one woman's struggle to defeat her demons. At times funny, at times frightening, always inspiring!

Aug 06, Caroline rated it it was amazing. The book, "What Doesn't Kill Us" tells the story of a woman whose severe anxiety was triggered by extreme stress. This is a good book to read to understand how destructive anxiety can be. I personally did not understand anxiety very well before reading this book and did not realize that it alone could be so overwhelming that it could lead to suicide.

This book, while dealing with a serious matter has a great deal of humor in it, which is refreshing. It is full of self-reflection and the thought The book, "What Doesn't Kill Us" tells the story of a woman whose severe anxiety was triggered by extreme stress. It is full of self-reflection and the thought processes that she went through.

It shows the power of support - from family, friends, and professionals and how each of these has a unique and important role in recovery. This book strongly focuses on recovery rather than victimization by mental illness. She is honest in that she was given a raw deal at times after her attempts, but ultimately prevails in always working towards recovery.

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Recovery is an important message to get out there, and the ups and downs of recovery are acknowledged, making the idea of true recovery more realistic. This book is holistic and gives you a wide view of the author's life. She is open in a way that normalizes mental illness and makes you want to be open and accepting about the issue.

Sep 19, Kim rated it liked it.