By ABC News’s chief national correspondent, an unflinching look at panic attacks by a reporter whose career was nearly derailed by them, offering readers a guide to making a truce with their warring minds
"Brave, reassuring, and practical...A balm for anyone who has ever suffered panic attacks and who longs to be released from their grip." —Dr. Nicole LePera, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Do the Work
“Seamlessly weaves page-turning personal experiences with scientific discoveries…A tour de force." —Ethan Kross, bestselling author of Chatter
Matt Gutman can tell you the precise moment when his life was upended. Reporting live on a huge story in January 2020, he found himself in the throes of an on-air panic attack—and not for the first time. The truth is that Gutman had been enduring panic attacks in secret for twenty years: soul-bruising episodes that left his vision constricted, his body damp, his nerves shot. Despite the challenges, he had carved out a formidable career, reporting from war zones and natural disasters before millions of viewers on Good Morning America, World News Tonight, and 20/20. His nerves typically “punched through” to TV audiences, making his appearances kinetic and often unforgettable.
But his January 2020 broadcast was unusual for all the wrong reasons. Mid-panic, Gutman misstated the facts of a story, a blunder that led to a monthlong suspension, not to mention public shame and personal regret.
It was a reckoning. Gutman’s panic attacks had become too much for him to bear in secret. He needed help.
So begins a personal journey into the science and treatment of panic attacks. Gutman would talk to the world’s foremost scholars on panic and anxiety, who showed him that his mind wasn’t broken; it’s our perception of panic that needs recalibration. He would consult therapists and shamans, trying everything from group treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy to ayahuasca and psilocybin. And he would take a hard look at the trauma reverberating inside him—from his childhood, but also from his years as a conflict reporter.
Unsparing, perceptive, and often funny, this is the story of a panic sufferer who took on the monster within. Filled with wisdom and actionable insights, it’s at once an inspirational journey and a road map—if not toward a singular cure, then to something even more worthy: peace of mind.
About the Author
MATT GUTMAN is ABC News’s chief national correspondent. A multi-award winning reporter, Gutman contributes regularly to World News Tonight with David Muir, 20/20, Good Morning America, and Nightline. He has reported from fifty countries across the globe and is the author of The Boys in the Cave: Deep Inside the Impossible Rescue in Thailand. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
"No Time to Panic is a necessary book. Brave, reassuring, and practical, Matt Gutman candidly shares his own journey of empowerment and healing which will be a balm for anyone who has ever suffered panic attacks and who longs to be released from their grip."
—Dr. Nicole LePera, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Do the Work
“A gripping account of a descent into personal bedlam, this vividly written book also provides a fascinating history of a malady that has long plagued humankind. Extensively researched and rich in illuminating anecdotes, No Time to Panic may provide no magic cure but inspires with its depiction of courage and profound healing.”
—Gabor Maté, M.D., New York Times bestselling co-author of The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture
"This is a brisk and gripping read from a courageous author. As somebody who has also suffered from public panic attacks, I found this book both triggering and deeply reassuring. If you’re suffering from panic, you’re not alone, and you’re never out of options. Matt takes you into his mind and then into an intriguing world of potential fixes."
—Dan Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of 10% Happier
"Deeply personal and infinitely readable, No Time to Panic both reassures the reader that they are not alone when it comes to anxiety and panic, and offers hope."
—Judson Brewer, MD PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Unwinding Anxiety
"Revelatory… This is a moving, insightful, funny, and scientifically spot-on manifesto for destigmatizing a tragically common psychiatric disorder."
—Robert Sapolsky, New York Times bestselling author of Behave
"No Time to Panic is one of those rare books that seamlessly weaves page-turning personal experiences with scientific discoveries in ways that entertain, educate, and enlighten. Matt Gutman writes about his personal quest to vanquish anxiety with the flair of a poet, the rigor of a scientist, and the curiosity of a swashbuckling investigative journalist. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. A tour de force, No Time to Panic is narrative nonfiction writing at its very best—I’m recommending it to everyone."
—Ethan Kross, bestselling author of Chatter
“Heavily researched and expertly reported, Gutman’s memoir is both a poignant personal road map of self-discovery as well as a journey through the history and science of anxiety.”
"Enlightening... Gutman’s up-close dispatches from his ‘circuitous road toward healing’ are self-aware, sharp, and vulnerable. Anxiety sufferers should take note."
"Insightful… Both warm and candid, this book is sure to offer helpful doses of hope, humor, and wisdom.”