Anxiety sufferers: Here's an alum who feels your pain

Daniel Smith '99 returns to campus to discuss his best-selling memoir

An estimated 40 million Americans suffer from a constellation of debilitating anxiety-related symptoms like panic attacks, irrational fear and unsubstantiated worry. Writer Daniel Smith ’99 is one of them.

Here is an anxiety sufferer who shielded his armpits with maxi pads to keep his profuse sweating in check. Who once became nearly unhinged trying to choose between ketchup and barbecue sauce at a Roy Rogers condiments counter. Who fled to the bowels of Goldfarb Library whenever an “infestation” of students threatened his equilibrium. Who calls Brandeis “the epicenter of anxiety.”

Smith returns to campus Wednesday, March 20, to read from and discuss his New York Times bestseller and uproariously funny memoir, “Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety.” The event takes place in Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library, at 5:30 p.m.

Constance McCashin of the Psychological Counseling Center, one of the event’s co-sponsors — along with the creative writing department and Brandeis Magazine — says that chronic anxiety is ubiquitous both on and off campus. “We’re excited to bring Smith to campus to contribute to the discussion of this issue. Smart, insightful books like “Monkey Mind” can play an important role in nurturing health and wellness.”

 “This is the first reading we’ve organized around a memoir,” says Stephen McCauley, associate director of the creative writing program. “In addition to being important as medical history, Dan’s book has real literary merit. And it’s great fun.”

Laura Gardner, who profiled Smith in the Fall 2012/Winter 2013 issue of Brandeis Magazine, says, “It’s a very funny book, but also a serious one. Dan doesn’t write glowingly about Brandeis, but he writes honestly about his experience.”

Read an excerpt from “Monkey Mind” in Brandeis Magazine here.

Books will be on sale after the reading. Refreshments will be served.

Categories: Alumni, Student Life

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage