Anxiety and Phobias – Can a Book Really Help? Hopefully that question will be answered during this article. Firstly a quick introduction.
Anxiety is a normal and important human emotion that amongst other things helps keep us safe from danger. There can’t be too many people who have not been anxious about an exam, driving test, medical examination etc. However if anxiety turns into a persistent and exaggerated fear that impacts on your day to day life or is accompanied by symptoms such as a sense of dread, feeling ‘on edge’, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness etc. then it is time to look for help.
Phobias are an anxiety disorder, where the symptoms are similar to anxiety above but are generally triggered by a fear of an object, situation, animal or feeling. Again phobias can have a huge impact on a persons’ life, with sufferers organizing their lives to avoid situations which may trigger an attack. Many people dislike snakes and spiders but that doesn’t really affect their day to day lives. Some people however have a phobia of one or the other and will not be able to be in the vicinity of them without suffering severe anxiety – this can affect their lives. Solving the phobia will definitely improve the quality of their lives.
How can a book help treat anxiety & phobias?
A good book will explain what severe anxiety and/or phobias are and help identify the causes. Understanding why you feel a particular way is the start of your recovery and being able to recognize when you started to suffer can help identify what may have been the trigger, if any. Causes may include traumatic experiences, physical injuries, brain injuries, illness, recreational drug use and many others. Identifying a cause can make finding the solution much easier but is not always possible and certainly not something to worry about.
They will also reassure you that many sufferers can and do get better. As we covered in my first article, just reading a book will probably not ‘cure you’, you need to take action and the book will guide you and recommend tasks for you to complete. It is important to complete all the tasks, just as it is important to complete a course of medication described by your Doctor to help achieve the best results. Below are my top 5 recommendations for self-help books for anxiety and phobias. Number 5 is aimed specifically at the teenage reader.
My top 5 Recommended Books
Anxiety Relief: Self Help (with Heart) For Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Stress Management, by John Crawford.Available in paperback, audio book and Kindle edition. John Crawford has become a specialist in the treatment of anxiety related difficulties, himself having suffered from severe anxiety and depression in his twenties. This experience allows Johns books to be based on real world experiences from both sides of the therapists couch! Well structured book, easy to read being clear and user-friendly.
Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, by Edmund, J, Bourne. Available in paperback and Kindle edition. A proper workbook written by a specialist in the treatment of anxiety, phobias and other stress related disorders for almost three decades. Edmund s books have helped millions of people.
Overcome Anxiety: A Self Help Toolkit for Anxiety Relief and Panic Attacks, by Matt Lewis. Available in paperback, audio book and Kindle edition. Another practical book, that is easy to follow with a step by step approach and again written by a professional psychologist, Dr Matt Lewis.
The Anxiety Journal: Exercises to Soothe Stress and eliminate anxiety wherever you are, by Corrine Sweet (illustrated by Marcia Mihotich). Available in paperback, as a diary and Kindle edition. Each page is kept short and devoid of too many technological terms. Well illustrated and easy to read, not quite so workbook based as the others. Corrine is a psychologist, psychotherapist and professional author having written several best-selling ‘self-help’ books.
And my final choice is for the younger reader
My Anxiety Handbook: Getting back on Track, by Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher and Phoebe McKewen. Available in paperback and Kindle edition. Aimed at 12 – 18 year olds this book provides advice and exercises proven to be of help. This book has been co-written by a College student who has experienced anxiety herself and has chapters covering areas such as sleep, exam stress, transitions and seeking extra help. Recommended.
What do you think?
I have included 5 self-help books covering anxiety and phobias which I feel offer the reader a good chance of improvement in their condition. Do you agree, disagree or have a book that has helped you? Please get in touch and let me know. I will publish your comments and recommendations which will be of great value to others looking to find the right book.
As to the original question – can a book really help? Yes, they really can help and the 5 books I’ve recommended are just a small selection. I hope you have found this article useful and of course if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
Thanks for reading.