A step-by-step guide to understanding, managing and overcoming anxiety disorders
Quoted from the back cover of Anxiety and Panic
The full name of this self-help excellent book is Anxiety and panic – How to reshape your anxious mind and brain by Dr Harry Barry. This is a great book in my opinion to learn about treatment for anxiety and panic attacks. The book itself includes a number of practical steps that help.
Let’s get started:
Setting the scene
As I experience stress, anxiety and panic attacks from time to time, I was very interested in this book. The book contains practical self help information which I found interesting, practical and useful.
One of the problems with anxiety and panic is that there is a lot of conflicting information out there and a lot of conflicting approaches on how to deal with it.
I was looking to learn more about the different forms of anxiety and panic in layman terms. I came across the book Anxiety and panic – How to reshape your anxious mind and brain by Dr Harry Barry.
I was looking for an overall understanding of the different forms of anxiety. With this book, I learned more about panic attacks, general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, phobias (like fear of driving), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive Disorder.
For me, reading a self-help book to learn more about available treatment for anxiety and panic attacks makes a lot of sense. For me, the self-help approaches recommended in the book helped.
The book itself is divided into 3 main parts.
- Part 1 discusses what anxiety is and discusses a few great ways to help manage anxiety. By the way, if anxiety is managed well enough, the theory is that the panic attacks go away.
- Then part 2 discusses a few different forms of anxiety along with practical case studies on how to manage them.
- Part 3, the final part, discusses what is most likely happening in the human brain and mind. The human brain and mind comprises different components, each with main functions that may or may interlink with other components.
This is followed by a very brief concise summary that sums up the book very quickly. However if you read the very brief concise summary first, chances are you may not really understand it.
It is however a great refresher should you need to look at the book again after reading it in some detail.
Part 1 discusses what anxiety is
Part 1 of the book discusses what anxiety is and discusses two great ways to help manage anxiety. One of these is called Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) which in a nutshell discusses re-framing what happens in the human mind in a more positive and helpful manner.
Of course, many books and literature out there explain what CBT is. The advantage of this book in my opinion is that this book explains this very well and very concisely. Or at least well enough so that I can understand what CBT is and how it potentially can help me.
The second great way to help manage anxiety discussed in this book is using a meditation technique called Mindfulness. This book explains very well what mindfulness is and outlines a 3-minute mindfulness session which is very useful.
Mindfulness can of course be practiced for longer than 3 minutes. The main reason why this book opts for 3 minutes, is that a 3-minute mindfulness session is more likely to be performed every day rather than a 20-minute session.
I think that this is very sound. There is no real excuse not to do the 3-minute mindfulness session every day, after all, you can find 3 minutes in the day, every day to do this exercise.
As a side note, it is more important to do a short meditation session every day rather than a longer session less often.
Part 2 discusses different forms of anxiety
Part 2 of the book discusses different forms of anxiety including as mentioned above, panic attacks, general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, phobias (like fear of driving), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive Disorder. Again, the information in these chapters is very interesting, useful and practical.
The author is a medical doctor with many years experience as a GP, who has helped many people over a period of time with their anxiety and panic. The book outlines different case studies that have worked for people experiencing these different forms of anxiety.
I read these different case studies slowly and took notes, and by readjusting the information for my situation, I found it helpful.
Although the book is written by a medical doctor, I understood most of what he said as the book was written to allow non medical people to understand its content. Thank goodness. 🙂
Part 3 discusses what is happening in the human brain
Part 3 of the book discusses in more detail, what is happening in the human brain and mind. The human brain and mind is make up of different components and they all behave in certain ways when certain things happen. The human brain consists of many components including a logical component and an emotional component. One component jumps into action really fast to help keep us alive and safe.
Anyway, the book explains current thinking on these components (current at the time that the author wrote the book) and how they behave with the understanding that as human understanding of these components changes that future understanding may change which is very reasonable. I found this very interesting.
There is a final message in the book which reinforces what was said earlier in the book and is in effect a very short summary.
The book Anxiety and panic – How to reshape your anxious mind and brain by Dr Harry Barry is an entertaining, educational and practical great read. The author, Dr Harry Barry has a lot of real world experience of helping people with anxiety and panic.
The book provides a lot of insight into anxiety in its different forms which explains a lot to people who experience anxiety.
The book explains a 3-minute meditation technique which is very practical. It is a great idea to practice meditation every day and this 3 minutes meditation technique is a good one.
The book has a number of case studies on managing different types of stress and anxiety, that are very interesting and more importantly, very practical and very useful. The book explains what is most likely happening in the human brain and mind which also helps. Knowing this helps.
What is this book about?
This is a practical how to guide that explains anxiety and panic in an interesting, educational and practical way. It also outlines a number of techniques which have helped other people who suffer from anxiety and/or panic. Knowing about these different techniques also helped me to manage my anxiety better.
Who is this book for?
This book is for people who experience stress or anxiety or panic attacks or phobias (eg fear of driving or fear of flying) or PTSD or OCD or social anxiety that want to understand the topic better and who want to look at techniques that have helped for other people.
How it helped me
I learned more about stress, anxiety and panic attacks. I found that I could relate to a number of the stories in the book itself. The book explained a number of questions that I had and to which I was not getting good answers from elsewhere. The book answered questions that I did not think of asking. When you do not know something, you do not know the questions to ask. The book answered a lot of those type of questions for me. The additional understanding helps me.
- Explains what anxiety is.
- Explains what cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and how it can help with anxiety.
- Explains what mindfulness is and outlines a simple effective 3 minute mindfulness session.
Worth the price of the book alone for this.
- Explains different forms of anxiety and outlines different case studies that have worked.
- Explains what is most likely happening in the human brain and mind.
- There is a short summary at the back of the book, that you may not fully grasp until you read the earlier sections in the book.
Why I recommend this book?
- I found this book was a good, effective and practical way to learn about treatment for anxiety and panic attacks.
- I found this book to be a good read with good advice.
- I found writing notes of the different case studies and re-framing them to my situation helpful.
- I found it very helpful to understand much better what is happening in my mind and brain when I am anxious and stressed.
- I found the 3 minutes meditation session explained in the book very useful.