The Anxiety Book for Trans People by Freiya Benson aims to support trans and other non-cis identities in dealing with anxiety. Benson has previously published Trans Love, an anthology of trans and non-binary voices.
The book focuses on experiences of anxiety, and in particular anxiety related to having non-cis identities, rather specifically on anxiety disorders. As such, I think it would be just as suitable for people with “normal” levels of anxiety as for people with anxiety disorders.
Topics covered included trans-specific myths about anxiety, handling social media, coming out, dealing with washrooms and changing rooms, and getting healthcare. There was a chapter on body dysmorphia, and the author shared how self-portrait photography was empowering and helpful in reclaiming her body.
The author talked about surgery, and how she sees it as a way of correcting what went wrong due to testosterone at puberty. I wrote not long ago about a law passed in Arkansas restricting access to puberty blockers, and Benson’s framing of the issue really underscored the importance of gender-affirming care.
The book covers medication and several different forms of therapy as treatment options. The author acknowledges that, for her, dealing with gender-affirming physical issues has had to take priority financially over getting therapy. There are also plenty of D-I-Y ideas for managing anxiety that don’t necessarily cost a thing.
Interspersed throughout the book are guest narratives by other trans and non-binary authors sharing their experiences with anxiety. This provides a good picture of both shared experiences and individual diversity.
While much of the book is focused on challenges, there’s also a chapter devoted to positives, including finding joy, gratitude, and kindness. It’s positive without any toxic positivity, which is always a good thing.
Benson admits she’s not an expert, and this book is based on what she’s learned from personal experience. That’s definitely a strength with this book, as it speaks straight to the intended audience using regular, non-clinical language. At its core, this is a book for trans people, focused on the anxiety that’s almost inevitable while navigating a cis-centric world. I think this was a book that needed to be written.
The Anxiety Book for Trans People is available on Amazon (affiliate link).
I received a reviewer copy from the publisher through Netgalley.
You can find my other reviews on the MH@H book review index or on Goodreads.
3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Anxiety Book for Trans People”
Thanks for the review. We’re glad it’s written without too much mumbo jumbo. We have challenges understanding what all the words mean. We’re scared of this topic because we aren’t all the same gender or age, etc.
I can imagine that would be a lot to have to sort through. ❤️❤️❤️