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Max Brooks turned to writing to cope with anxiety

June 25th, 2013 3:11am EDT

World War Z World War Z author Max Brooks turned to writing to cope with his overwhelming fear of death and disaster.

The author tells The New York Times Magazine his anxiety issues began in his youth when his protective parents, Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks, refused to let him join his classmates on field trips over fears he would be kidnapped.

He struggled with thoughts of impending doom throughout college, when he finally decided to tempt his fate by scuba diving in a volcano and camping on the edge of a fjord in Greenland, saying, "I did it to challenge myself, to face my anxieties."

The trip did nothing to calm his nerves, and in 1997 he finally sat down to write The Zombie Survival Guide in a half-serious attempt to help others prepare for the apocalypse.

The book's sequel, World War Z, was recently adapted by Brad Pitt for the big screen, and although Brooks admits writing has helped control his symptoms, he still spends his days worrying about the state of the world.

He says, "There's been some really scary stuff that's been happening - 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan... global warming, global financial meltdown, bird flu, swine flu... Neighbours knifing each other for food, women being raped, the cops not showing up, children dying of starvation."

However, his wife Michelle insists she'd rather have her husband lose himself in his writing than take drugs: "It's hard to be that smart and not have anxiety. He sees everything, he hears everything, he understands everything. He doesn't drink. He doesn't smoke. He doesn't do a lot of the stuff people do to self-medicate."

Related: World War Z, Celebrity

This news article provided by World Entertainment News Network

Photo Credits: © Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved

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