CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Behavioral Institute psychiatrist Dr. Lida Prypchan recently published her second book in a series of anthologies dealing with anxiety in a modern context. Released internationally in November, “Modern Anxiety, Modern Woman: Australia” features a robust collection of essays by young women describing their experiences with mental illness.
Dr. Prypchan offers a clinical overview in an introduction that asserts her opinion that we have a collective responsibility for soaring youth anxiety rates. “I have described anxiety as the destruction of thought,” she writes. “Subjectively, it is a state of uncertainty, apprehension and helplessness in the face of a vague or imprecise danger. In itself, anxiety is not abnormal; it’s a natural response to a situation that threatens us. Anxiety becomes irrational when we exaggerate the response — when, in all or in the majority of our activities, we allow it to destroy our thoughts.”
“Extreme anxiety can easily lead to depression, or even to suicide,” she says, noting that Wyoming has the highest suicide rate per capita in the nation1. “Anxiety is worrying in young people as it interrupts and distorts a critical time in their development. On a more human level, it robs them of what could, and should, be a relatively unencumbered time in their lives. Anxiety is a waste of joy.”
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The Modern Anxiety, Modern Woman project seeks to empower young women around the world by inviting them to perceive anxiety as a force for creative expression. The project was initiated in 2017 by Psychiatry, Philosophy + Arts, a nonprofit organization Dr. Prypchan founded. Psychiatry, Philosophy + Arts is an international platform designed to foster a dialogue that explores the link between psychiatric conditions and creativity. “Modern Anxiety, Modern Woman: Australia” is a product of a creative writing competition offered to Australian women ages 15–25 during the pandemic, encouraging them to write about anxiety and creativity. The House, an Australian youth-oriented nonprofit, collaborated to collect and review 13 essays selected for inclusion in the book. Supporting the authors’ reflections on their experiences in uncertain times, the book also includes 13 original drawings by Australian illustrator Ruby McVicar.
“Modern Anxiety, Modern Woman: Australia” can be ordered on Amazon. For more information about Dr. Prypchan, visit www.lidaprypchan.com. Psychiatry, Philosophy + Arts can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/psychiatryphilosophyandthearts.
Dr. Prypchan provides child and adolescent inpatient psychiatric care at Wyoming Behavioral Institute, where she has worked for 15 years to help young people recover from mental illness. Wyoming Behavioral Institute offers child, adolescent, adult and older adult inpatient care in Casper, Wyoming.
1Suicide Mortality by State, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/suicide-mortality/suicide.htm
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