‘For a story that is so much about being scared, this is writing at its most fearless.’ – Matthew Bright, Everybody’s Reviewing.
A compelling, heartbreaking story of a teenager, his family, and finding the courage to live with anxiety. It’s an everyday story of life, friendship, love, going to school, and terror.
The Fear Talking tells the true story of Chris Westoby, who as a teenager has a life-long anxiety condition, but he doesn’t know it – no one does as he’s undiagnosed. He wants to be alone, all day, forever, and swallows every aspiration that he has to complete his education, be a good boyfriend and live a life without perpetual fear. Deeply ashamed of his own thoughts, he juggles lies to friends and family to keep his anxiety secret. He seeks out secluded places in his hometown of Barton to avoid the world and find a way to get better. He begins investigating the patterns of causes and effect in his anxieties, the meanings and effects of the places that he goes to, the objects that he touches, the music that he hears and the words that he speaks. A sense of control might just be in reach, but it comes at a price that he doesn’t know he’s paying.
‘Chris Westoby shows us what it is to make use of the resonant power of words to offer a portal into what it is really like. A vital touchstone for public and health professionals alike, to understand deeply, to see and to learn from first person experience.’ – Kathleen T. Galvin, Professor of Nursing Practice, University of Brighton
‘This book offers young people an insight into the range of unique ways the world can be experienced and the chance to reflect on their own struggles and know they are not alone in these…, I have recommended this book to my academic colleagues, my students and my children.’ – Dr Judith Dyson, Reader Healthcare Research, Birmingham City University