WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The new e-novel PANIC is an uplifting tale of a young man navigating the emotional peaks and valleys of panic disorder. Yet according to its Washington, DC-based author Warren Getler, PANIC is as much a story about this era – what he calls “the Great Anxiety” – as it is about one teen’s battle to overcome debilitating mental health challenges.

Growing up on New York’s Upper East Side in the 1990s, the novel’s protagonist Johnny D. Saster lives a privileged childhood. But when it comes to personal freedom, he enjoys very little under the thumb of his demanding, overbearing parents. Pushed by his mother and father to over-achieve, Johnny suffers an extreme panic attack during his SATs, leaves the test room in a daze and walks right into oncoming traffic on Fifth Avenue.

Panic and anxiety disorders afflict millions – young and old alike – around the world.  A desire to explore the reasons behind this led Getler, a former journalist with The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and Discovery Channel, to write PANIC, now available via Apple Books/iTunes, Google Play and Kobo.

“I wanted to illuminate how teenagers today face unceasing pressure to be perfect in the eyes of others,” said Getler. “This collides head-on with their absolute need to protect their individuality.”

While the novel is humorous in parts, readers will also feel the raw emotion in this highly imaginative, wildly fanciful coming-of-age story, set in and around Manhattan landmarks such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park. As a bonus, a musical soundtrack from the lyrical band, Social Void (whose bandmember Chris Cooley suffered from panic disorder) is embedded in the e-book.

The novel’s theme is reinforced by a new study from the Pew Research Center, which finds that 70% of American teenagers see depression and anxiety as the leading “major problem” among their peers.

Getler co-wrote the non-fiction Rebel Gold, One Man’s Quest to Crack the Code Behind the Hidden Treasure of the Confederacy (2004, Simon & Schuster), which served as the backdrop to Disney’s National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

James A. Boyle, Boyle Public Affairs, jim@boylepublicaffairs.com, 571-213-3979