NPR Interview: Scott Stossel, Author Of My Age Of Anxiety

I have a few things in common with Scott Stossel; I haven’t vomited since 1984 and it is the epicenter of a wide range of other fears, phobias, and avoidance behavior.

In an Atlantic essay adapted from his book, Scott Stossel writes, “I have, since the age of about 2, been a twitchy bundle of phobias, fears and neuroses. With the rational part of my brain I realize how completely irrational this is. I mean, the amount of time since I was 7 years old that I’ve spent worrying about something … that I’ve spent 0 percent of the last 30 some odd years doing, it makes no sense.

I know it makes no sense, and yet here I am.

Interview: Scott Stossel, Author Of My Age Of Anxiety : NPR


For instance, the fear of vomiting, it makes me afraid of travel because I’m afraid I’ll vomit far from home. It makes me afraid of flying not for the conventional reason that I’m afraid that the plane will crash, although I also have that, but I’m afraid I’ll get motion sick and get nauseous. […]

The fear of germs is obviously directly tied to that. The horrible kind of self-fulfilling vicious cycle of emetophobia is that if youre prone to acute anxiety and nervousness, as I am, it often manifests itself with stomach symptoms. […]