May 2 • 35M

Panic Attack

An author lucidly describes the experience—and the difficulty of understanding it as a teenager pre-internet

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Harper’s Magazine
Since 1850, Harper’s Magazine has provided its readers with a unique perspective on the issues that drive our national conversation, featuring writing from some of the most promising to most distinguished names in literature–from Barbara Ehrenreich to Rachel Kushner. Every week, host Violet Lucca joins her colleagues and contributing writers to provide listeners with a deep dive into these topics and the craft of long-form narrative journalism.
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Internet culture has made different types of neurodivergence—particularly anxiety—more visible than it has ever been. Michael W. Clune, author of White Out, offers an account of how difficult it was to understand what a panic attack was before mental illness was instantly diagnosable with Dr. Google. More remarkably, his essay eloquently and accurately expresses what the experience of a panic attack is like. He speaks about the process of writing this memoir, discovering Oscar Wilde’s Salome, and creating types of narratives about anxiety.

Read Clune’s memoir, “The Anatomy of Panic”

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