Why Panic? or, Three Must-Have Books (Part Three)
Well, I have to make a confession to make this one relevant.
It's a little embarrassing.
But I'll go through with it, anyway.
First, here's the book:
When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy that Can Change Your Life by David Burns, M.D.
Second, here's my confession:
I used to suffer from panic attacks and social anxiety attacks.
They're no fun. They come unannounced, take you by surprise, make you feel like you're going to have a heart attack or die from lack of oxygen, and warp-drive you mentally into a stressed-out run-for-your-life inner place of terrifying hell.
Like I said, they're no fun.
When you experience a panic attack or anxiety attack, you also feel like you have no control, like you're going insane, like no one on earth can help you or save you because no one else can see let alone feel what is happening inside you. They don't have a clue about what is happening. And neither do you.
I'm over panic attacks today. But I still live in quiet fear that one may sneak up on me at any time, cut off my head, and bring me to my knees.
With all of the above in mind, it should come as no surprise that I picked up When Panic Attacks by Dr. David Burns. I'm glad I did. It's a masterpiece.
Burns explains that your thoughts are what cause the attacks. We're not aware of the thoughts because they whiz by at lightning speed. But with the help of cognitive therapy, which Burns describes, you can become aware of the thoughts and then choose new ones.
He offers a variety of other methods to heal the problem at the core. The stories he tells brings the concepts to life. While at first blush you may think "This will never work for me," once you actually absorb the message and try the method, you find your anxiety dissolving and then disappearing -- forever.
Burns also explains that there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance in the brain. No scientist has found it and no drug can resolve it. A brain chemistry imbalance simply doesn't exist.
But a thought imbalance does.
I've been able to keep panic attacks at bay by using cognitive therapy (I have an e-book on the subject with Dr. Larina Kase at www.endselfsabotage.com) and with intense exercise (see www.mrfiremeltdown.com)
Becoming aware of the hidden thoughts that create the fears and phobias is the first step. And exercise helps release the accumulated tensions in the body so a panic attack doesn't have any energy to uncork.
I found Dr. Burns' new book (he also wrote, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy) to be insightful and packed with exercises to help anyone suffering from worry, panic, and anxiety. It's a colossal work at over 400 pages, but a meaty one. I strongly recommend this one.
It's a must-have book.
PS -- Since I read so many books, I'm going to list another must-have book in the next few days. I know I said I was only going to mention three books, but I'm creating the world's first book buffet. Instead of "all you can eat" in one sitting it will be "all you can read."
PPS - Nerissa just posted a fascinating blog entry. See www.thevideoqueen.com/blog.html
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