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Overcoming Anxiety, Second Edition

Book Description

Millions of people suffer from various types of anxiety-related disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social phobias, panic disorder, agoraphobia, OCD, PTSD, and others. Idiot's Guides: Overcoming Anxiety, Second Edition helps readers pinpoint which type of panic disorder is affecting them and how to alleviate the symptoms and get to the cause of it. In it, readers get:

- Worksheets for self-evaluation, which also make it easier to communicate symptoms to others.

- Calming strategies for dealing with irrational fears and debilitating anxieties.

- Methods for interpreting the past and understanding the present to attain peace and perspective.

- Relaxation techniques to rely on when panic sets in.

- Practical steps to put a stop to the thoughts that make anxiety escalate.

- Natural ways to alleviate the physical symptoms that accompany the emotions, including exercise, rest, nutrition, yoga, and more.

- Guidance for selecting and working with a professional and considering medications.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Part 1: Exploring Anxiety
    1. 1 Just the Jitters?
      1. What Is Anxiety?
        1. Physical Symptoms: From Butterflies to Insomnia
        2. Emotional Symptoms: Fear
        3. Cognitive Symptoms: Thoughts
        4. Behavioral Symptoms: Either Take Charge or Run Away!
      2. Donny Osmond: A Familiar Face with Anxiety
      3. Cautious, Nervous, or Dealing with a Disorder?
        1. Context and Continuum
        2. States and Traits
      4. How Bad Is It?
      5. Assess Yourself: How Much Is Too Much?
      6. Primary Anxiety or Something Else?
      7. What’s the Difference?
    2. 2 The Anxiety Disorders
      1. What’s the Diagnosis?
        1. The Pros and Cons of Labels
        2. Co-occurrence
        3. Difficulty with Objectivity
        4. Cultural Differences
      2. The Anxiety Disorders
        1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Chronic Worry
        2. Social Anxiety Disorder: Beyond Butterflies
        3. Panic Disorder: The Tsunami of Anxiety
        4. Agoraphobia: Fear of the Marketplace
        5. Specific Phobia: Targeted Fear
      3. Related Conditions
        1. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: The Broken Record
        2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Endless Movie
      4. Depression: Churchill’s Black Dog
        1. Anxiety’s Effects on Others
    3. 3 Why Me?
      1. Who Gets Anxiety Disorders?
      2. Psychology and Anxiety
        1. Behavior
        2. When Twisted Thinking Leads to Anxiety
      3. Biology
        1. The Fear Pathway
        2. Life Experience and Anxiety
        3. What’s the Cause—Genes or Environment?
      4. What Triggers Your Anxiety?
    4. 4 What to Expect on the Path to Recovery
      1. Values
      2. Anxiety’s Costs
      3. Developing the Right Attitude
        1. I Am Not Ashamed of Myself or My Symptoms
        2. Anxiety Is My Teacher; What Can I Learn?
        3. Symptoms Are an Opportunity to Practice—Not a Test
        4. Anxiety Is Uncomfortable, but It’s Not Dangerous
        5. I Can’t Stand It. I’ve Got to Get Out of Here. What If It Gets Worse?
      4. Remaining Motivated
  6. Part 2: Fighting Your Way Through the Fright
    1. 5 Getting in Tune with Your Emotions
      1. Feelings
        1. Temperament
        2. Parenting and Response Styles
        3. Acknowledge Feelings
      2. Managing Emotions
        1. Vicious Cycles
        2. Emotional Intelligence
      3. Pitfalls on the Way to Better Emotion Management
        1. Feelings Are Faster—and Stronger—Than Thoughts
        2. Feelings and Thoughts Can Get Tangled Up
        3. Self-Medication for Bad Feelings Can Backfire
        4. Judging Your Feelings Doesn’t Help
        5. Worry
      4. Fine-Tuning Your Alarm System
    2. 6 Understanding and Managing Anger
      1. Anxiety and Anger
      2. What Is Anger?
        1. Recognizing Anger
        2. Misdirected Anger
      3. The Personal Cost of Anger
      4. Remaining Balanced
      5. What to Do with Anger
        1. Anger Diary
        2. Pause Before Acting
    3. 7 Assertiveness
      1. Doing Good—and Doing Yourself In
      2. Conflict Avoidance and Anxiety
      3. Saying “No”
      4. An Assertive Attitude
        1. Dealing with a Pet Peeve
        2. What an Assertive Attitude Includes
      5. The Many Benefits of Assertiveness
      6. Acquiring Assertiveness Skills
        1. Taking Responsibility
        2. Practicing How to Say No
        3. When You Have a Request
      7. Delegation
        1. The Cost of Not Delegating
        2. Delegation Guidelines
      8. Procrastination
        1. What Procrastinators Fear
        2. Overcoming Procrastination
        3. Mental Space
        4. Time Management
  7. Part 3: Taming Those Alarming Ideas
    1. 8 Taming Your Thoughts
      1. Thinking About Thoughts
        1. Thinking Errors
        2. Restructuring Thoughts
      2. Defensive Pessimism: Preparing for the Sky to Fall
        1. Putting Worries to Good Use
        2. Are You a Defensive Pessimist?
      3. Optimism
        1. The Pros and Cons of Optimism
        2. Guidelines for Balancing Optimism and Pessimism
    2. 9 Understanding Core Beliefs and Their Impact
      1. Beliefs
      2. Core Beliefs
        1. Common Beliefs for Anxiety Sufferers
        2. Common Dysfunctional Beliefs About Emotions
        3. Effects of Core Beliefs
        4. Beliefs About Others
      3. The Need for Control
      4. Core Beliefs Are Persistent
        1. They’re Only Thoughts
      5. Correcting Core Beliefs
    3. 10 Personality Traits and Anxiety
      1. Personality Traits
        1. Context
      2. The Anxiety-Prone Personality
      3. High Sensitivity
      4. Perfectionism
      5. The Need to Please
      6. Owning Your Self-Esteem
  8. Part 4: Boosting the Mind-Body Connection
    1. 11 Getting Help from Exercise and Breathing
      1. The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
      2. How Does Exercise Help?
        1. Exercise Is Rewarded by Your Body
      3. Motivation to Exercise
        1. Try an Exercise You Enjoy
        2. Long-Term Motivation for Exercise
        3. If It Seems Impossible
      4. The Benefits of Breathing
    2. 12 Eating and Sleeping
      1. Foods and Anxiety
        1. Foods and Substances That Can Make Anxiety Worse
        2. Foods That May Improve Mood
        3. Thinking About How You Eat
      2. Supplements and Herbal Remedies
        1. Herbal Supplements
      3. Trouble Sleeping
        1. Sleep Stages
        2. Improving Sleep
        3. When Sleep Is Disrupted
    3. 13 Reducing Stress
      1. What Is Stress?
        1. Symptoms of Stress
        2. The Right Amount of Stress
      2. A Coping Inventory
      3. Buffers Against Stress
        1. Taking Action
        2. Dealing with Uncomfortable Feelings
        3. Developing Resources
        4. Create a Stress Journal
      4. Communication Under Stress
      5. Keeping Cool Under Pressure
      6. Responses to Severe Trauma
  9. Part 5: Survive-and-Thrive Strategies for Diagnosed Diagnosed Distress
    1. 14 Self-Help for Panic Disorder
      1. Emotional Hijacking
      2. Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
        1. Others May Not “Get It”
        2. Panic, Phobias, and Other Problems
      3. Preparing for a Panic Attack
        1. Relaxation
        2. Distraction
      4. Approach Panic Differently
        1. Refusing to Give In
        2. Advanced Training
      5. Practice
    2. 15 Self-Help for Phobias
      1. Phobias Are Common
      2. Complex Phobias
      3. What Causes Phobias?
        1. A Frightening Experience
        2. Observation
        3. Other Problems Linked to the Feared Object/Event
        4. A Stressful Time
      4. Reinforcement by Physical Symptoms
      5. Reversing the Vicious Cycle
      6. Let Anxiety Come
      7. Allow Yourself to Relax
        1. Calming Counts
        2. The Ten-Second Grip
      8. Arrange Your Fears in Order
      9. The Three R’s: Reintroduce, Refocus, and Repeat
    3. 16 Self-Help for Social Anxiety
      1. Feeling Scrutinized
      2. Risk Factors for Social Anxiety
      3. Social Fears
      4. Fear of Negative Evaluation
      5. The Spotlight Effect
        1. Changing Behavior
        2. Practice
        3. Virtual Help or Avoidance
    4. 17 Getting Professional Help
      1. Sarah’s Story
      2. Evidenced-Based Treatments
        1. Cognitive Therapy
        2. Behavioral Therapy
        3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
      3. Medication
        1. SSRIs and SNRIs
        2. Benzodiazepines
        3. Azipirones
      4. Virtual Reality
      5. Alternative Therapies
      6. Finding a Clinician
        1. When to Say Enough Is Enough
  10. Part 6: Keeping Anxiety from the Next Generation
    1. 18 Anxiety During and After Pregnancy
      1. Anxiety During Pregnancy
      2. Postpartum Anxiety
      3. Beyond Worry
      4. Why Me?
      5. The Pregnancy Protection Myth
      6. Pregnancy Planning
      7. Medications During Pregnancy
        1. Potential Risks of Taking Medication
        2. Potential Risks of Not Taking Medication
        3. Making the Decision
      8. Treatment for Postpartum Anxiety
      9. What About Fathers?
    2. 19 Raising Resilient Children
      1. Highly Sensitive Children
      2. Beware of Overprotectiveness
      3. Perfectionistic Parenting
      4. Resilience
      5. Friendships
      6. Coping with Anger
      7. Handling Stress
    3. 20 Helping Anxious Children Recover
      1. Childhood Anxiety
      2. Stage Fright
        1. Infants
        2. Toddlers
        3. Preschoolers
        4. School-Age Children
        5. Adolescents
      3. Overcoming Childhood Fears
        1. Finding the Middle Ground
        2. Additional Strategies for Coping with Fears
      4. Childhood Anxiety Disorders
        1. Symptoms of Separation Anxiety
        2. Symptoms of Phobia
        3. Symptoms of Social Anxiety
        4. Other Symptoms of Anxious Children
      5. Red Flags
      6. Differences in Expression of Anxiety Symptoms in Children
      7. Helping Your Children Recover
  11. Appendixes
    1. A Glossary
    2. B Resources
  12. Index
  13. About the Author