Book Review: The Anxiety Book for Trans People: How to Conquer Your Dysphoria, Worry Less and Find Joy by Freiya Benson

The Anxiety Book for Trans People: How to Conquer Your Dysphoria, Worry Less and Find Joy by Freiya Benson

Expected publication: May 21st 2021 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Thank you to NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for offering an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.

The Anxiety Book for Trans People is an accessible, easy-to-read guide on handling anxiety as a trans person. Author Freiya Benson disclaims early on that she's decided to use "trans" as an umbrella term for anyone not cis, and as a genderqueer/ agender person, I thought that worked out fine.

Benson approaches the intersectionality of being trans and having anxiety with a casual, personable style, and covers such topics as social anxiety, handling anxiety about medical services, coming out as trans/ not cis, and anxiety's effects on dysphoria.

Interspersed with these chapters are short Q&A interviews with other trans folks who deal with anxiety, which offer welcome additional perspectives to Benson's own experiences.

I think this book is sorely needed. It's targeted at the general audience with no assumptions made about a reader's academic knowledge about gender identity, transgender issues, or anxiety disorders. It offers good, basic practical advice and favors realistic tips over theoretical discussion.

That said, there were some places where I felt like a little more reference to theory would have been helpful, or would have grounded the advice somewhat. I also feel that if you have some background in gender studies, trans studies, etc., and/or if you've been dealing with anxiety and/or have been out as trans for a while, a lot of this information will not be new to you. The book still works well as an introduction, though, or a reminder. I enjoyed it very much.

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