Lifeline Anxiety Disorder Newsletter

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These books were reviewed in our 1997 to 1999 issues.
Click here for reviews in 1994 to 1996 issues, 2000 to 2002 issues, 2003 to 2005 issues, 2006 to 2010 issues, 2011 to 2013 issues.

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Guided Instruction for Coping with Anxiety and Stress

Guided Instruction for Coping with Anxiety and Stress by James D. Cowart and Leo A. Kominek.

This is a self-help package which includes two audiotape cassettes and a manual. The program includes two hours of taped instruction and is designed to be used repetitively to reinforce progress. The program teaches realistic thinking and relaxation and exposure techniques using interactive techniques based on proven cognitive behavioural treatment methods.

he tapes are comprised of:

  • Introduction – anxiety, how it develops and how it can be reduced.
  • Graduated Exposure – shows the user how all the skills learned from the tapes can be put together to cope with anxiety.
  • Learning to Relax – progressive muscle relaxation and proper breathing.
  • Learning to Identify realistic and unrealistic thoughts.
  • Learning to Counter Unrealistic Thoughts – how to construct appropriate statements that suitably counter unrealistic thoughts.

The User Manual has sixteen pages of information designed to lead the user in learning and practising the methods and techniques useful in coping with anxiety disorders. James D. Cowart, MSW, Ph.D. is a Certified Social Worker and a Licensed Psychologist, specializing in the treatment of anxiety, who has spent over 25 years as an educator, clinical psychologist and supervising psychologist. Leo A. Kominek, Ph.D., M.A. is a microbiologist and a limited licensed psychologist who, after over 25 years of experience as a research scientist has entered the field of psychology. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders with psychotherapy. He also learned to cope with his own anxiety disorder using the methods described in this audio-cassette tape package.

The Panic Book

The Panic Book by Neil Phillips. Shrink-Rap Press, New South Wales, Australia.

This is a humorous guide to panic disorder which tackles the subject with cartoons and wit, providing valuable information along with laughter. The book incorporates sound advice, solid techniques and a guide to attainable happiness. The author has treated panic disorder sufferers for many years and puts his experience to work in a unique and comprehensive manner.

The Panic Book is invaluable for explaining panic disorder to people who don't understand the condition It should probably be on the bookshelf of everyone who needs to give explanation or have it explained to them.

For ordering information, visit Shrink-Rap Press.

The School Wobblies

The School Wobblies by Chris Wever and Neil Phillips. Shrink Wrap Press, New South Wales, Australia. The authors of The School Wobblies are two Australian psychiatrists who work with children and adolescents with anxiety and panic disorders. The book is aimed at children who have trouble handling school or who cannot go to school without anxiety. The book addresses the wobblies (the worries lurking in kids’ minds) and provides children with methods of coping. A wobbly thermometer is used on a scale of 1 to 100 and children are taught to lower the reading to beat the wobblies.

The book is written to appeal to younger children but without being too simplistic for older ones and even has a message for adult wobbly sufferers.

For ordering information, visit Shrink-Rap Press.


A 10-Week Recovery Program For Overcoming Panic, Anxiety & Phobias

A 10-Week Recovery Program For Overcoming Panic, Anxiety & Phobias by Shirley Babior, LCSW and Carol Goldman, LICSW, Whole Person Press, l997

This anxiety/panic management program is comprised of:

  • 5 audio tapes covering 10 sessions, one for each week.
  • 1 relaxation tape, Calm Down Audiotape: Relaxation & Imagery Skills for Managing Stress, Anxiety and Panic (reviewed below) with exercises to calm both the body and the mind.
  • 1 self-help book, Overcoming Panic, Anxiety and Phobias (previously reviewed by Lifeline), with research-based strategies, worksheets and recovery stories.
  • 10 recovery guides outlining the weekly program and including additional recovery exercises.

An anxiety assessment form is provided allowing for critical evaluation of the extent of the anxiety/panic being treated and the program can then be tailored to meet your specific needs.

The program’s objective is to reduce anxiety and tension in order to gradually face feared situations or sensations. The tapes include ideas and dialogues which have proven to be effective in assisting people to overcome their anxiety and panic attacks. It has been developed to be either self-directed or used in coordination with concurrent counselling or medication therapy.

Shirley Babior, LCSW, CEAP treats anxiety disorders in groups and individually and provides services to employees suffering from anxiety and stress in the workplace. She lectures on the treatment of anxiety disorders, has coauthored two research articles with the University of California at San Diego's Department of Psychiatry, is a former regional governor of the Phobia Society of America and board member of the Society of Behavioural Medicine.

Carol Goldman, LICSW, is in private practice in Boston, Massachusetts.

For ordering information, visit the Center for Anxiety and Stress Treatment

Life Isn't Just a Panic: Stories of Hope by Recovering Agoraphobics

Life Isn't Just a Panic: Stories of Hope by Recovering Agoraphobics by Anita L. Pace, Baby Steps Press, Beaverton, Oregon.

This is a collection of twenty personal stories about the process of recovery from panic and agoraphobia. Chapters on individual anxiety disorders appear between the stories.

Anita Pace’s own story, beginning with her first panic attack in an eighth grade math class and continuing to becoming housebound is the first story. She describes how despite obtaining a BA in Social Welfare, her career had to be put on hold for eighteen years in favour of the full-time occupation of recovery. She started her own publishing company, Baby Steps Press in order to publish her first anthology. The personal stories include the story of a teacher's aide, with young children, whose fear prevented her from accompanying and comforting her son in hospital for brain scans, an artist who, as a young panic disorder victim during the 1950's, faced the possibility of shock treatments and an abused woman who wonders if she has maybe already died and is experiencing Hell.

The stories all describe the terror of the first panic attacks, followed by understanding of the necessity of desensitization and recovery and each one features the courage of people in the face of fear. or


Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic: A Step-By-Step Program for Regaining Control of Your Life

Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic: A Step-By-Step Program for Regaining Control of Your Life by Reneau Z. Peurifoy. Warner Books 1995.

Originally self-published, this book is highly recommended by everybody who reads it. The author is an experienced professional counsellor who understands anxiety disorders – whether mild stress and anxiety or severe agoraphobia.

The book explains anxiety and provides techniques in overcoming it in comprehensive, down to earth terms. It does not promise miracles. Instead, it provides a step-by-step program which must be practised over time, putting the responsibility for making cognitive changes in the hands of any anxiety sufferer who is truly motivated to get the problem under control. People with deeply ingrained negative behaviours, which cause problems in controlling anxiety, consider this book to be the one they find most helpful in making changes. or

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel P. Goleman. Bantam Books. New York 1997.

Daniel Goleman's brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our "two minds"– the rational and the emotional – and how they together shape our destiny. (Publisher’s synopsis). Emotional Intelligence was published in paperback last year, after the hardcover edition spent fifty-two weeks on the best seller lists.

Goleman’s book, applying brain and behavioural research to being successful in both personal and career growth, has received much attention and favourable reviews, topping best seller lists around the world. Goleman, himself, has discussed his book on talk shows, including a full hour’s worth on Oprah.

The book makes a case for "emotional intelligence" as a stronger indicator of success than intellectual intelligence. Emotional intelligence is defined by Goleman as self-awareness, empathy, altruism, motivation and the ability to love and be loved. He contends that our emotions play a far greater part in our thoughts and feelings, decision making and personal success than has generally been acknowledged.

Research into cognitive and emotional development is applied to life in the home, workplace and classroom, becoming, in essence, a practical guide to emotional mastery. Listening and being able to keep calm, providing constructive feedback to children, employees and pupils, teaching conflict resolution and social skills are all the results of applied emotional intelligence.

The book provides an overview of how the emotional brain works. This scientifically details how anxiety disorders originate, and how they can be controlled, by tracing the path of a predisposition to an anxiety disorder becoming, in the brain, a learned action/reaction of the amygdala and the need to inhibit and control the panic reaction through the prefrontal lobes of the brain. There is an appendix explaining this neuro-circuitry.

Goleman theorizes that it is people who nurture a high emotional intelligence that are the truly successful, rather than those whose intellectual capacities are perceived to bring them fame and fortune, because emotional intelligence is the means to fulfilling careers and meaningful relationships.

Since we are not born with set levels of emotional intelligence, our cognitive processes, behaviour and learning environments play an important part in its development. The book outlines the routes for us to take in developing emotional intelligence, whether as young people or older adults, and provides guidance for the parents of young children in teaching them how to prevent and resolve conflicts, curb impulsive behaviour and develop social skills. or


Power Over Panic : Freedom from anxiety/panic related disorders

Power Over Panic : Freedom from anxiety/panic related disorders by Bronwyn Fox. Addison Wesley Longman, Australia. A fully revised third edition of Anxiety Attack: Don't Panic first published in 1993.

Power over Panic is an Australian best-seller. Written for people who have panic attacks – whether as isolated incidents or as panic disorder – the book is primarily concerned with developing personal empowerment and is based on the Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Achievement Award-winning programs and workshops of the Panic Anxiety Disorder Association (P.A.D.A.) for which they were originally developed.

The book explains the different kinds of panic attacks, anxiety/panic disorders, agoraphobia, depression and the treatment options available. It explains how personal power dissipates through the disorder itself; the lack of understanding by partners, family members, friends and of some health professionals; general perception of anxiety and stress and the stigma associated with mental health problems. It then goes on to show how acquiring empowerment again is possible through education and provides techniques that can be used to retrieve the power, lost to panic attacks and anxiety, and use it to control the disorder. It also deals with the depersonalisation and derealisation created by panic disorder. The reader is shown the effect of becoming pro-active instead of reactive to panic symptoms and fear, confronting and working through fear instead of allowing it to be disabling. This means being pro-active in the treatment adopted and pro-active in learning to nurture about oneself and not being afraid of what other people think. A simple five-step plan to freedom from panic/anxiety related disorders is laid out and many case histories are used to illustrate the effects of acquiring empowerment. The forward is written by a well known Australian actor, Garry McDonald, who publicly admits to having had an anxiety disorder for twenty years. Also included are chapters on using meditation as a relaxation technique, in working with anxious thoughts and in the process of recovery.

The author, Bronwyn Fox, writes with all the authority of somebody who has suffered from an anxiety disorder. She had panic disorder and agoraphobia for four years and, since her recovery, she has helped thousands of Australians overcome their disorders. She has been CEO of the Panic Anxiety Disorder Association and Deputy Chairperson of the Anxiety Disorders Foundation of Australia and continues to act as a consultant to Anxiety Disorder associations throughout Australia. or


It’s Nobody’s Fault : New Hope and Help for Difficult Children and Their Parents

It’s Nobody’s Fault : New Hope and Help for Difficult Children and Their Parents by Harold S. Koplewicz MD. Paperback release 1997.

It’s not bad parenting!

Case studies and scientific research on brain chemistry and child development are used by Dr. Koplewicz to help parents to understand their children’s behaviour. He discusses the applicable therapy and medication with which families can reduce the difficulties imposed on their children by the various disorders triggering the behaviour. He discusses the treatment of such problems as anxiety, depression, conduct disorder, bipolar disorder, and autism offering scientific information in a highly readable format for the families of so-called difficult children. Dr. Koplewicz points out that nobody would ever blame parents for a child’s asthmatic or diabetic condition, yet people often fault parenting when a child exhibits hyperactivity, depression or an anxiety disorder. Parents blame the children themselves, accusing them of laziness or rebelliousness. And children blame themselves. Dr. Harold S. Kopelwicz is a highly reputed child and adolescent psychiatrist . His objective in writing It’s Nobody’s Fault is to end this useless and debilitating cycle of blame and, instead, ensure that both children and parents get the help they need.

The book tells the stories of several children, with psychological disorders, and their parents and is indispensable reading for anyone living or working with children who need help in controlling psychological disorders. As a guide for parents it provides effective advice on the diagnosis, treatment, of many disorders, including ADD, depression and anxiety and assists them in convincing their children that they are not the irretrievable bad kids that many of them think they are. The newest treatments and therapies are discussed. Most importantly, Dr. Koplewicz constantly reassures parents that nobody caused the problem and shows them how they must break the endless cycle of blame and find effective ways to help their children instead.

Dr. Kopelwicz has received many awards, including the 1995 Wilfred C. Hulse Award for outstanding contributions to the treatment of children and adolescents with behavioural disorders, anxiety, and depression. He is vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at New York University Medical Centre and a professor of clinical psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. or

Hope and Help for Your Nerves

Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes. Signet – Reprint edition August 1991.

For more than thirty years, this book has been the key to controlling panic attacks for many, many people. Written before panic disorder was even recognized as a distinct disorder, mental health professionals, today, continue to recommend their patients read and re-read it. The “Do’s and Don’ts” chapter is especially significant. The four steps treatment – face, accept, float, let time pass is the most effective, drug-free way to block panic attacks.

Thousands of readers from around the world swear that reading this book saved or changed their lives. Some report that the simple solutions are all the treatment that is really needed, others report that Dr. Weekes is one of very few who really understand the minds of panic/anxiety sufferers and others say that nothing is available that is written with more compassion and insight than Dr. Weekes’ books.

The Australian pioneer in the treatment of panic disorders and agoraphobia seems to talk to the reader almost as if she were sitting in the same room, which for many lonely, isolated sufferers of anxiety disorders is the first step in the right direction. She articulates feelings and thoughts of which readers are only half aware themselves. Nobody whose life is affected by panic – whether as an anxiety disorder victim or as a friend or family member on whom the disorder impacts – should be without a copy of this book. or


Healing Anxiety Naturally

Healing Anxiety Naturally by Harold Bloomfield, M.D. HarperCollins 1998.

Harold Bloomfield is one of those rare creatures that everybody suffering anxiety disorders wishes they could meet – a doctor who is able to recognize and diagnose the problem.

Bloomfield freely admits the disturbing fact that the average person with anxiety or depression has to visit nine or ten doctors before getting a correct diagnosis and that the medical establishment’s primary response, on reaching that diagnosis, is to put yet another patient on over-prescribed tranquillizers and sleeping pills.

Dr. Bloomfield’s previous book, Hypericum & Depression, which became a best seller in 1997, discussed the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort for depression. He reports, “it is also effective 80 to 90% of the time for situations of mild-to-moderate anxiety, particularly when combined with the herb kava”. In Healing Anxiety Naturally, he provides the latest information on kava and valerian root and other natural remedies for anxiety, nervousness and insomnia. In essence, he presents a safe and natural approach to controlling anxiety disorders that is medically proven and provides recommended dosages of the herbal extracts involved.

Dr. Bloomfield explains irrational anxiety as an exaggerated stress response stemming from the brain’s alarm system that leads to such debilitating conditions as chronic worry, persistent insomnia and secondary depression. In many cases, he explains, natural herbs prove to be safest and most effective remedies. Medical studies support the fact that kava can relieve mild to moderate anxiety as effectively as pharmaceutical tranquillizers without their sedative effects, memory impairment and threat of addiction.

There is a natural self-healing program of mental and physical exercises which reduce anxiety and panic and their symptoms including rapid heartbeat, hyperventilation and dizziness. The author also discusses the effectiveness of breathing exercises, meditation, music therapy and other effective therapies. or

5-HTP: Nature’s Serotonin Solution

5-HTP: Nature’s Serotonin Solution by Ray Sahelian, M.D. Avery Publishing Group 1998.

This book evaluates the potential clinical uses of 5-HTP and provides a step by step guide on how to use 5-HTP for anxiety, insomnia and depression, as well as for weight loss. The author discusses his personal and professional experiences explains simply and comprehensively, the research involved in identifying the role of serotonin in anxiety and depression and the various means to maintaining effective level in the brain. He explains, “Since serotonin is the brain chemical significantly involved in mood stabilization, 25-50 mg of 5HTP (the immediate precursor to serotonin) – taken on an empty stomach – provides a sense of calmness and steadiness of mood that may be evident within an hour of ingestion.”

In addition to how and when to use 5-HTP and detailed information on combining it with other herbs and nutrients, Dr. Sahelian provides an entire chapter on any possible side effects resulting from specific situations. or


Breathe Well, Be Well : A Program to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Asthma, Hypertension, Migraine, and Other Disorders for Better Health

Breathe Well, Be Well : A Program to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Asthma, Hypertension, Migraine, and Other Disorders for Better Health by Robert Fried. John Wiley & Sons 1999.

Leading anxiety treatment expert, Robert Fried, has a simple prescription for anxiety, stress, hypertension and many other health problems – take a deep abdominal breath. His book describes several easy breathing exercises which effectively reduce anxiety, stress and such conditions as asthma, migraines, hyperventilation and hypertension. The simple exercises can be done anywhere and at any time of the day or night.

Fried is the author of The Hyperventilation Syndrome, written in 1987 and The Psychology and Physiology of Breathing of 1993. In Breathe Well, Be Well he discusses the science of breathing in layman’s terms, interpreting scientific research into useful exercises which will relieve anxiety and stress. Beyond that, he shows how the way we breathe is responsible for asthma, hypertension, migraine and other health disorders. There is also information about the effects of different foods on breathing and on the various disorders. The most important aspect of the book, for people who have anxiety disorders and panic attacks, is how breathing relates to the way they think in both positive and negative terms. >Breathe Well, Be Well is easy to understand and is written with humour. The range of health problems that can be traced to incorrect breathing is truly amazing. or

Biological Unhappiness

Biological Unhappiness by Leland M. Heller. Dyslimbia Inc. 1999

Many of the disorders covered by Dr. Leland M. Heller in his diagnoses of the biological causes of unhappiness in Biological Unhappiness are, for the most part underdiagnosed and undertreated. Written in lay terms, Biological Unhappiness explains the biology and recovery process for many of the mental illnesses that are impacting on society today, including ADD & ADHD, Anxiety Panic and Borderline Personality Disorder and goes on to explain how to diagnose and treat them.

Dr. Heller is an internationally recognized authority on mental health who has spent years of treating borderline personality disorder. He brings a practical approach to establishing the medical causes of biological unhappiness and advocates the treatment of all aspects – physical, mental and spiritual – of a sufferer’s condition. Many professionals are finding the book controversial, particularly when the author advocates that changes in attitude, and consequent improvement in diagnosis and treatment, will only take place when patients demand proper treatment and push medical and mental health facilities into finding solutions that work.

For their patients, however, it a very insightful book which has the capacity to save lives and open the minds of others to the problems that are caused by factors beyond their control. or
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