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Susie Essman's New Book Takes on Anger, Menopause, and More

The "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star shows a healthy sense of humor in "What Would Susie Say."

Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on September 30, 2009
From the WebMD Archives

On hiatus from playing ever-furious, always-funny Susie Greene on the HBOcomedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm, comic Susie Essman was visiting hermother one weekend when the phone rang. It was series creator and star LarryDavid. "Listen, I have a sinus infection," he said without preamble. "Whatshould I do?"

"So I recommended nasal irrigation and getting a Neti pot, and he said 'OK,thanks, bye,' and hung up," Essman recalls.

As the daughter of a doctor -- her oncologist father passed away in 2001 --as well as a self-described hypochondriac, Essman is used to being consulted byfriends and colleagues about their medical problems. Now, she's sharing herinsights on everything from menopause to raising teens in her new book, WhatWould Susie Say: Bull**** Wisdom About Love, Life and Comedy, due out thismonth.

Susie Essman on Anger Management

Married for the first time in 2008 to commercial real estate broker JimHarder, Essman became a newlywed, a new mom (to Harder's four kids, now intheir late teens and early 20s), and a menopausal woman all at the same time."It's a wild ride," she says of menopause. For hot flashes, "I tried applecider vinegar -- two tablespoons in water," she says. "And they went away. Idon't know if it was because of that or not, but I kind of err on the side ofthings I know aren't going to interfere with my biology. Apple cider vinegar --how bad can it be?"

Essman cites her Curb role as a reliable stress reducer -- the newseason kicked off Sept. 20 and will feature a five-episode run reuniting thefour leading actors from Seinfeld. "On days when we are shooting scenes where Ihave to really scream and yell at Larry, which is a lot of the time, I go backto the hotel room in L.A. after shooting, and I'm so relaxed," Essman says.

"I've been screaming and yelling and angry all day, and nobody got hurt andI got paid. It's healthy. A lot of women tell me Susie Greene has given thempermission to express their anger, and that's really gratifying to me. Thiswhole ladylike thing is just destroying us internally."