Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Depression

Two out of 10 Americans struggle with anxiety, panic or depression. Some may suffer anxiety at the thought of flying or speaking in public, while others panic at the thought of being stuck in traffic on a bridge. The heart beats out of control. Sweat drips and the stomach, head and chest pound with pain. “Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Depression: New Ways to regain Your Confidence,” a new book by James Gardner, M.D., and Arthur H. Bell, Ph.D., offers more than a dozen solutions for people who want relief.

The authors present no magic cures, no fads and no hype. Instead, they clearly define and clarify the common forms of anxiety, panic and depression such as social phobias, seasonal affective disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The book explains the psychological connections as well as the physical, describing everything from sleep loss to cognitive impairment and feelings of hopelessness to manic behavior.

After reading the symptoms associated with more than a dozen disorders, the book provides charts and simple tests to help you figure out whether you may be suffering from anxiety, panic or depression. (This could be particularly interesting for readers who want to help a family member.) There are simple forms to fill out and take to your doctor to help you describe what you’re feeling. Readers are told what to expect when they visit their doctor, psychotherapist or psychiatrist. They also learn the full range of alternative therapies available.

There are areas in the book labeled “Barbara” where a woman shares personal and often painful details from her diary. Her own suffering puts a human face on what may seem to be a collection of medical terms and concepts.

Like Barbara, the authors also have a conversation with readers. This makes the information more enjoyable and memorable. For example, rather than bore some readers with details describing how the brain works, the authors write, “If you are getting weary of chemical compounds, skip ahead to Chapter Six. You already have the general idea…” It’s this “conversation” which allows the authors to build trust with readers.

Quote in the book: “Even our most painful personal moments in the grip of anxiety, panic or depression can be viewed in a new light as a chance to rethink who we are, what we want for ourselves and how we pursue our goals.”
By understanding the conditions, grasping the options and actively participating in the therapy described in this book, readers are sure to begin a path to recovery.

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