• ADRENALIN AND CORTISOL Adrenaline and cortisol are two of the most powerful chemicals in the human body. They are capable of increasing our physical strength and speed to extraordinary degrees, and can sharpen our senses to unbelievable extremes and all within a split second. But too much of these chemicals can have serious effects on […]

  • I’m not a Buddhist by any means but I have always been attracted to the wisdom in the books written by Buddhists. If you ever want to learn about the mind then read a Buddhist book – these guys knew the crack in the sixth century more so than the current western ways of treating […]

  • When it comes to overall health it’s saddening to see in our society how little credit is given to the ‘mind’ and instead the focus is mainly on improving the ‘body’, generally through diet and exercise. It is well understood in psychology that the content of our mind can have detrimental effects on our body […]

  • “Knowledge is power” Francis Bacon In my experience, complete recovery from anxiety disorders can only be achieved by gaining a thorough understanding of your condition and by applying complete acceptance I remember when I was a kid and my dad suggested we watch this old black and white horror movie called ‘The Haunting’. He said […]

  • *First and foremost you must understand that it is worry and rumination that ultimately cause anxiety disorders – it’s as simple as that! REMEMBER THAT! What to do when you ‘catch’ your worry and rumination (second fear) Worry and rumination are types of thinking styles, which, although people engage in for a reason, are ultimately […]

In The Beginning

Every single person who has ever developed an anxiety disorder has done so because at some point in their lives they began to worry and continued to do so until a part of their brain called theamygdala’ altered its behaviour (more on this later). This is an extremely important piece of information that you must understand – WORRY ULTIMATELY CAUSES AND PROLONGS ANXIETY PROBLEMS. Worry isn’t just something that people decide to do one day, there are reasons why some people worry more than others and these factors can include genetics, life experiences and stress.

Genetics is a broad scientific term that encompasses everything within our biological make-up but what I’m specifically referring to here is the inherited temperaments, which result from our genetic predisposition. It is worth noting that the vast majority of anxiety sufferers share very similar temperaments; I like to think of these people as the sensitive souls – of which I include myself. There are of course those people who develop anxiety disorders (eg PTSD) where temperaments were not necessarily a contributing attribute but the traumatic event itself was so ‘significant’ that it caused a flood of worry in a very short space of time.

What are temperaments?

Temperaments ultimately determine our ‘nature’; how we ‘tick’ and what makes us ‘tick’. Temperaments are innately encoded in our DNA and are fuelled by complex energy systems that affect our behaviour. It is interesting to note that the vast majority of anxiety sufferers share similar temperaments, however, it isn’t these temperament’s themselves which can cause anxiety disorders to develop but more the personality and character traits resulting from them that leave people particularly vulnerable to life’s situations and stresses. For example if you are ‘caring’ and ‘sensitive’ by nature then you are more likely to take things to heart and over think certain situations, likewise, if you are ‘creative’ and ‘intelligent’ you are more likely to think deeply for extended periods of time and neglect those much needed mental pauses.

Common shared personality and character traits amongst the anxiety sufferer;

  • Intelligent
  • Imaginative
  • Creative
  • Sensitive
  • Caring
  • Sympathetic
  • Empathetic
  • Diligent
  • Responsible

Life experiences must come into the picture because ultimately there has to be some sort of stimulus that leads people to worry. Although significant life experiences and stresses such as the death of a loved one or surviving a traumatic accident can leave a person vulnerable to prolonged worry, more often than not, it’s the worry from the not so obvious ‘lesser’ stressors in life that cause people to develop anxiety disorders – how I’m going to perform at a work meeting? What if nobody likes me? What is this strange physical symptom I have? etc. Also, what might be ‘significant’ to one person might not necessarily be significant to another – think of the soldier who develops PTSD but his comrades are able to continue their life’s in relative peace despite witnessing the same event. However, the vast majority of people who develop anxiety disorders have no deep seated causes at all – people can worry over the most trivial of things! The late great pioneer in nervous illness Dr. Claire Weekes called these people the ‘insidious worriers’.

Common list of life experiences;

  • Parents or other family members who suffered from panic attacks or nervous breakdowns
  • Alcoholism or addictions within the family of origin
  • Emotional, verbal or physical abusive interactions
  • Perfectionist parents that left you feeling ‘it was never good enough’
  • Overprotective, critical or controlling parents
  • Chaotic family atmosphere
  • Surrounded by extreme anger or rage
  • Trauma or fear of separation or loss
  • Family conflicts leaving one feeling unstable
  • Family environments where you were not encouraged to share feelings or thoughts
  • Parents that was never present physically or emotionally

Stress must come in to the picture but what exactly is stress? Stress can be thought of as the response our body has to a stimulus (externally or internally) and it can take three forms; physical, chemical and emotional. Physical stress is the stress our bodies experience during injury, trauma and accidents. Chemical stress includes disease, viral and bacterial infections, high or low blood sugar levels, hormone imbalances and even hangovers. Finally, emotional stress can be considered the most contributing stress that lead people to worry and common examples include money problems, relationship issues, death of a loved one, confidence and self-esteem issues.

Worry then comes into the picture…

How does worry cause an anxiety disorder to become established?

All of the nasty physical and mental symptoms of anxiety are initially triggered by the amygdala, a pair of small almond shaped structures located in the ‘emotional’ part of the brain called the limbic system. Normally, the amygdala operates at a ‘calm/normal’ level and when we’re faced with an anxiety-provoking situation, the amygdala switches to ‘anxious’ mode and, depending on the level of threat perceived, initiates the ‘fight or flight’ response within the body; rapid heartbeat, sweating, shortness of breath etc. follow. Once the threat has dissipated, the amygdala reverts to ‘calm/normal’ mode. The effects of the ‘fight remain or flight’ response may for a short time (due to stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline) but eventually also fade as the body returns to a ‘resting’ status. You see the thing is is that ‘worry’ is fear-based and as I’ve just mentioned the amygdala processes fear so every single worrisome thought you have arouses the amygdala and it responds accordingly!

Constant bombardment of worry causes the amygdala to malfunction and begin to trigger the fight or flight response at inappropriate times and therefore an anxiety disorder to develop – there is no mystery here, it’s as simple as that!

Exposure to prolonged periods of worry can cause the amygdala to malfunction and become altered in such a way that it establishes ‘anxious’ as the new ‘default’ level. The amygdala has ‘learned’ anxious behaviour through constant worry. The amygdala now overreacts to situations that would normally have low levels of threat and does so with an exaggerated response by initiating extreme fight or flight mechanisms, normally reserved for potentially life-threatening scenarios. The individual subconsciously adopts an ‘anxious’ disposition and an anxiety disorder is born.

To put simply – worry causes anxiety to become disordered and stopping worry brings anxiety back to normal appropriate levels. Simple but not easy.






The average person has around 60,000 thoughts per day, that’s one thought every 1.5 seconds on average! That’s a lot of thoughts and around 98% of these thoughts are repeated thoughts. Now consider this – repeated thoughts change our perceptions, attitudes and eventually our core beliefs and this in turn shapes the way that we see the world and people around us. Thoughts have a direct influence on our feelings and behaviour. In other words, we need to be extremely careful how we use our minds because if we’re not then anxiety and depression can quickly become a big problem and this is why it affects so many people around the world. Look after the mind and the mind will look after you.

Ideally you want to use your mind in a very flexible way meaning you don’t want to allow too much rumination or worry to come into your mind. A flexible mind detaches from worry, rumination and problems and doesn’t get caught up in these ‘suppressive’ styles of thinking.

It’s useful to know what types of thinking we have as this can help us identify which particular ones we are more likely to engage in. I have included a list of ten common ‘cognitive distortions’ below and given short examples of each. I have also linked which ones are more likely to cause anxiety or depression. See my poster as well which shows anxiety linked to future based thoughts and depression linked to past based thoughts. Try to recognise which ones you are more likely to engage in.


All or nothing – Most common in ANXIETY (FUTURE BASED)

At the core of perfectionism is the tendency to evaluate ourselves in terms of absolutes and nothing in between—good or bad, winner or loser, smart or dumb. In this situation, not being able to do both—complete my project and keep up with other work—pointed to not having achieved the “perfect situation.”

Overgeneralisation – Most common in ANXIETY (FUTURE BASED)

Believing that if something bad happened once, it will happen over and over and over. “I did it again,” the thoughts that reinforced the belief it will always be this way—unable to manage and prioritize my work.

Mental filter – Most common in DEPRESSION (PAST BASED)

The tendency to focus on one negative aspect of a situation while ignoring all other positive evidence. In spite of having completed the project, my focus was solely on “how behind I was.”

Disqualifying the positive – Most common in DEPRESSION (PAST BASED)

More destructive than mind-filtering, this involves taking a positive experience and turning it into a completely negative one. With all the distorted thinking already stewing in my head, the sense of achievement from this moment was replaced by a sense of failure for not being able to keep up with everything else.

Jumping to conclusions – Most common in ANXIETY (FUTURE BASED)

Automatically jumping to negative conclusions without any basis for it. The immediate assumption here was that “I’ll never be able to catch up,” even though I always have in similar past circumstances.

Magnification and minimisation – Most common in DEPRESSION (PAST BASED)

The tendency to magnify our mistakes and weaknesses while minimizing our successes and strengths. The heightened sense of failure for not being able to keep up obscured my abilities and skills to overcome this and any other challenges.

Emotional reasoning – Most common in DEPRESSION (PAST BASED)

Looking at life through painful eyes where everything looks bleak and dark. Once the wheels of distorted thinking were set in motion, everything I needed to do to get caught up appeared daunting and impossible.

Should statements – Most common in DEPRESSION (PAST BASED)

The useless mind-noise resulting from being disappointed with ourselves and the world, reminding us of what we could’ve, should’ve, or would’ve done differently. “I should’ve tried harder to keep up.” “I must do all of this to catch up.” These were the thoughts that began popping into my head.

Labelling and mislabelling – Most common in DEPRESSION (PAST BASED)

The constant labelling and mislabelling of ourselves in a self-deprecating manner. Once trapped in this way of thinking, the usual self-loathing terms to devalue myself showed up—loser, not smart enough, can’t do anything right.

Personalisation – Most common in ANXIETY (FUTURE BASED)

Feeling responsible and guilty when there’s no reason for it. Even though I had a valid reason to do what I did (postpone other work), I blamed myself and felt horrible for finding myself in the situation I was in.


Adrenaline and cortisol are two of the most powerful chemicals in the human body. They are capable of increasing our physical strength and speed to extraordinary degrees, and can sharpen our senses to unbelievable extremes and all within a split second. But too much of these chemicals can have serious effects on our mental wellbeing and can significantly affect our thinking which can lead to anxiety and depressive disorders. These chemicals are both released from various glands most notably the adrenal glands when we experience stress. The stress doesn’t even have to be ‘real’ such as the stress caused from an argument, a tragic accident, an illness or a traffic jam; it can also be an ‘imagined’ stress i.e. simply thinking in a worrisome or ruminative manner, “oh no, I’m going to get stuck in rush hour traffic!”, “oh no, I can’t catch my breath – what if I stop breathing?” When one is not careful and these seemingly minor worries persist, they can create enough stress hormones for you to begin to worry about the symptoms that they produce. This is a pivitol moment in the development of anxiety disorders for now you begin to fear the symptoms of stress and this is an inivitable part of living! You are now in the ‘fear adrenaline fear’ cycle and an anxiety disorder is now born!

Together these chemicals are responsible for every single one of the horrible distressing symptoms you experience. Symptoms include shaking, sweating, cold hands and feet, inability to swallow, poor appetite, muscle tension in the throat and tongue, dizziness, tinnitus, acid reflux, acne, sharp chest pains particularly in the heart area and in the side of the ribs, a feeling of oxygen deprivation, migraines especially with visual aura, tingling in the cheeks forearms and legs, earache, toothache and overproducing salivary glands amongst many more.


Adrenaline is also called ‘epinephrine’ is fast acting and works in the short-term affecting respiratory organs, the muscular system and acutely affecting our senses by pumping the body up ready for action. This is great news for the person taking the world cup final penalty decider but bad news for the anxiety sufferer who has no immediate use for such dramatic bodily changes. Unnecessary adrenal release is responsible for the highly distressing ‘breathlessness’ or ‘lack of oxygen’ symptoms that one often experiences and also account for the vast majority of chest pains and muscular aches complaints.

  • Fast acting
  • Short term (typically lasts 15 minutes)
  • Affects respiratory and muscular systems causing;
  • Breathlessness
  • Feeling of lack of oxygen
  • Chest pains
  • Muscular aches/muscular fatigue
  • Difficulty in assessing rational, logical or calm thinking as mind becomes influenced by
  • increased brain activity particular in limbic system (emotional part)


Cortisol on the other hand is much slower acting and works in the long-term. Cortisol also targets and affects different organs to adrenaline and when levels are high it can shut down systems responsible for the upkeep and regulation of our immune system, reproductive system and digestive system. This could explain why there are so many complaints of digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux and churning stomach, complaints of low sex drive and a high susceptibility to illnesses and viruses amongst the long-standing anxiety sufferers.

  • Slow acting
  • Long term
  • Affects immune, reproductive and digestive systems causing;
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Acid reflux
  • Churning stomach
  • Low sex drive
  • High susceptibility to illnesses/viruses
  • Mental fatigue

I’m not a Buddhist by any means but I have always been attracted to the wisdom in the books written by Buddhists. If you ever want to learn about the mind then read a Buddhist book – these guys knew the crack in the sixth century more so than the current western ways of treating mind related illnesses such as depression and anxiety. As a past sufferer of panic disorder and agoraphobia I got more understanding and peace of mind from reading Tulku Thondup’s ‘Healing Power of the Mind’ than any of my Psychology study, CBT training or therapists ever gave me. As I always say to my clients recovery all comes down to ‘acceptance’ and acceptance is made easier through ‘understanding’. Self educate, focus particularly on the ‘mind’ – learn about it, become more mindful, adjust your attitudes where need be and let nature do the rest…..recovery will surely follow.

When it comes to overall health it’s saddening to see in our society how little credit is given to the ‘mind’ and instead the focus is mainly on improving the ‘body’, generally through diet and exercise. It is well understood in psychology that the content of our mind can have detrimental effects on our body with increasing studies suggesting that negative thinking can cause conditions such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), heart disease, fibromyalgia and even cancer! Considering this, surely it would be best if we instead paid more attention to our minds and learned to better understand it, respect it and train it? Our overall mental wellbeing lies in large on the content of our thoughts; if we have lots of positive thoughts we will generally feel quite good and likewise, if we have lots of negative thoughts we will generally feel bad. Its useful to think that negative thoughts relating to our past can lead to depression and thoughts relating to our future can lead to anxiety. Ideally what we need is more presence and to try and keep our minds in the moment because when we really think about it the present moment is always all we ever have anyway.

“Knowledge is power”

Francis Bacon

In my experience, complete recovery from anxiety disorders can only be achieved by gaining a thorough understanding of your condition and by applying complete acceptance

I remember when I was a kid and my dad suggested we watch this old black and white horror movie called ‘The Haunting’. He said it would be one of scariest films I would ever see. He was right! It was a film about a group of people, temporary living in a supposedly haunted mansion in the middle of nowhere, hoping to find some evidence of ghosts. I remember after the film he asked me if I knew why it was such a scary film. I had no idea why. He told me that it was because it was one of the only horror films where you never ever get to see the ghost throughout the entire movie. He had an excellent point, people get frightened when there is uncertainty and stay frightened until they know what is happening. As soon as they understand what is happening and uncover what is scaring them, they can let go of it in their mind and begin to relax. As I never got to see the ghost throughout the entire movie I was continually left frightened and tense.

In the same way, it is necessary for you to uncover everything there is to know about your anxiety disorder. Ultimately your anxiety disorder exists within you because of the way you think, your thinking habits. Habits are hard to break but gaining knowledge about how these thinking came to be and why they continue to cause you suffering will help empower you to find the courage and determination to ‘accept’ everything and make recovery much more achievable. It really only comes down to acceptance you know – acceptance, acceptance, acceptance!!

*First and foremost you must understand that it is worry and rumination that ultimately cause anxiety disorders – it’s as simple as that! REMEMBER THAT!

What to do when you ‘catch’ your worry and rumination (second fear)

Worry and rumination are types of thinking styles, which, although people engage in for a reason, are ultimately unhelpful. Nothing good ever comes from worry or rumination. It is this worry and rumination that causes and prolongs your suffering.

Detached mindfulness is a way of taking a perspective on your own thinking processes in a detached way, without interpreting, analysing, controlling or reacting to them in any way. When you notice a worrying thought or image (e.g., what if….) or a ruminative thought (e.g., why me…if only…), it is important not to engage with these. Engagement involves responding to the thought, questioning the meaning of it, or having or continuing a dialogue with it in any way. It is important to remember that non-engagement is not the same as avoidance, such as trying to distract oneself from the thought or pushing it away.

Analogies of detached mindfulness

The unruly child

Treat your intrusive thoughts as you might an unruly child that you have to look after (i.e. you cant avoid). You need to acknowledge the child is there but paying too much attention to it (engaging with it) would merely reinforce its bad behaviour, and attempting to punish the child (suppress it) would upset the child even further. Thus, the best thing to do is leave the child alone to settle of its own accord.

Pushing clouds

Intrusive thoughts can be treated as if they were clouds in the sky. That is, they are something that is passing by, and that we can do nothing about. They are part of a natural self-regulating weather system and attempting to stop or push them away is neither necessary nor possible. Even if we could, this would disturb the balance necessary for the rainfall and nature. Therefore the thing to do is let them occupy their own space and passively watch their behaviour over time.

Train analogy

Imagine you are on a train platform. Trains (of thought) will pull in. Rather than getting on them and become trapped inside (engaging with them, simply stand on the platform and observe them as they pull in and away. It may help to say to yourself ‘why get on this train of thought and become stressed and anxious when I can just stand on the platform and enjoy the scenery?.

*Remember cure lies in reversing the pattern and that begins in learning how to respond differently to your habitual worrying or ruminative thought patterns. In order to get a different result you need to try a different approach. It is simply the worrying and rumination that keeps you feeling the way you do…change it!

The tractor analogy

The tracter Analogy. The habit of negative thinking, particularly ‘worry’, is what ultimately causes and prolongs anxiety disorders; it’s as simple as that. Stress, genetics and learnt behaviour can all be contributing factors but without the added stress of ‘worry’ they simply wouldn’t exist. Through repeated worry, the brain changes the way it functions, and begins to treat ‘worry’ as ‘important’ and that it must be continually used. This is no different than learning to ride a bike. We keep learning it until the brain changes the way it functions so much so that it becomes ‘learnt’ and we can ride the bike without even thinking about it; it becomes a habit.

Imagine a tractor crossing a bumpy field via the same track every day. Each day the track becomes increasingly deeper and deeper until eventually it becomes so entrenched that this becomes a quick and easy route for the tractor to cross the field. If the tractor were to digress away from this route it would be difficult; the deep walls of the track would pull the tractor firmly back into it. However, if the tractor chipped away steadily at a new route, over time this new route would begin to form until it was firmly laid. If the tractor then decides to continue to use this new track, it too would become more entrenched until eventually this route would become a quick and easy route across the field. The old ‘unused’ route would gradually over time begin to naturally fill up with dirt and debris but it would always leave some sort of impression. If there were a sudden storm bringing flash floods there is a chance that the tractor could slip back into the old track which would start to become once more entrenched.

In the same way when we think negatively (old track), initially it can be very difficult to think more positively (change track). However, the more we try this then the easier it becomes until eventually the new track becomes the habitual way to think. Under times of stress (storm) it can become so difficult to retain this new way of thinking that sometimes we can slip back into the old negative thinking habits. The difference between recovery and non-recovery lies in learning how to stay on the new path.

I thought I’d write a little (or a lot) about how Dr. Claire Weekes’ method can help to eradicate anxiety. In my experience it is the surest way to complete recovery from nervous illness.

Firstly panic is the dominating force and this must be addressed. A nervously ill person must realise that when they panic there are two fears involved. When they spot the second fear they should apply the 4 concepts AND detached mindfulness

Dr Weekes sets out to explain how a nervous breakdown begins and develops and how it can be cured. She states simply that a cure can be achieved if we use our innate courage and perseverance and emphasizes that the power is within us to achieve the goal of recovery from a ‘nervous breakdown’, no matter how difficult our plight is. Dr Weekes states –

“Each of us has unsuspected power to accomplish what we demand of ourselves, if we care to search for it. You are no exception. You can find it if you make up your mind to, however great a coward you may think of yourself at this moment. I have no illusions about you.”

An important element in the key to our recovery is understanding t he notion of nervous fatigue which can manifest as muscular, mental, emotional and spiritual fatigue. Apparently any individual can suffer from any one or all of these fatigues and not be deemed as nervously ill when one fears the effects of nervous fatigue and this fear interferes with one’s life thus creating an anxiety state. The phrase ‘fear of fear’ comes to mind. The anxiety sufferer becomes fearful of the symptoms of anxiety thus perpetuating a ‘web of fear’.

Dr Weekes explains the four types of nervous fatigue as follows:

• Muscular fatigue relates to the physical aches that are experienced when muscles are subjected to constant and severe tension resulting in physical symptoms such as blurred vision and headaches.

• Emotional fatigue occurs when our nerves are subjected to strong emotions over a prolonged period of time and become sensitised to the slighted provocation. Dr Weekes describes how a ‘fear-adrenaline-fear cycle’ can set in thus perpetuating anxiety. Fear can activate the hormone adrenaline which in turn intensifies and creates more fear and then more adrenaline results thus creating a debilitating cycle.

• Mental fatigue can result from constantly thinking about and being pre-occupied with the concerns of being an anxiety state.

• Fatigue of the spirit can be experienced when the constant struggle and battle with anxiety wear us out and flatten out hope and courage.

Dr Weekes alludes to ‘that persistent inner voice’ that seems to urge the anxiety sufferer to not have faith in themselves. The inner voice may say “Others can do it, others can recover, but not you!” Dr Weekes advises that in a sensitised person this voice is only natural, however don’t be fooled by it. You have the capacity to move forward.

Dr Weekes treatment for anxiety and a cure is based on four concepts:

1. Facing 2. Accepting 3. Floating 4. Letting time pass

1. FACING requires the individual to acknowledge and understand that the cure comes from within. It means facing the things and situations that make us fearful as well as facing the nervous symptoms than many of us would rather avoid. According to Dr Weekes the notion of facing fearful situations but having the option of retreating if we panic or go beyond our ‘comfort zone’ does not facilitate a long-term cure. Instead, it is necessary to face fear and panic symptoms and to learn to deal with them. The long term goal is for the individual to learn to cope with panic so that it no longer matters if it does happen. An old Chinese proverb ‘Go straight to the heart of danger, for there you will find safety’ reflects this concept.

2. ACCEPTING involves learning to co-exist in a kind of truce with the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic no matter how uncomfortable they can get. Fighting fear and its often terrible physical symptoms can spark more fear and thus perpetuate anxiety and panic. De-sensitisation to fear lies in acknowledging the physical symptoms and discomfort and to trying to flow with it. The aim of acceptance is to try not to fuel existing fear with more fear. Obviously this isn’t easy and requires practice. Dr Weekes states that by practicing accepting, “…you earn the little voice that says, ‘It doesn’t matter anymore if panic comes!’ this is the only voice to listen to. It is your staff, and will always come to help you in setbacks, even if you find yourself almost helpless on the floor”.

3. FLOATING encapsulates the idea that instead of fighting and forcing our way past anxiety and fear it is more effective to physically and mentally take the path of least resistance and float towards, through and past the anxiety. Dr Weekes likens the sensation to floating on a cloud or water. The aim of floating appears to be to remove the rigid and exhausting physical and mental fight that panic and anxiety sufferers find themselves involved in when confronting fear thus removing another source of fear. Indeed, floating can be a very pleasant antidote to fear and panic.

4. LETTING TIME PASS asks from us an understanding that recovery can take time. It takes time for a nervously sensitised physical body to heal and for the heightened memory of fear and panic to gradually extinguish. We live in a society that fosters an expectation that life can be instant and fast, and these concepts can be counterproductive to a recovery that requires time. Dr Weekes counsels that setbacks on the road to recovery should not create dismay, but instead be expected and accepted. Setbacks provide us with an opportunity to build and forge our recovery on repeated practice and experience so that the techniques become truly ingrained in us.

“Complete Self-Help for Your Nerves” provides a wealth of practical information in addition to the practical techniques discussed in this review. The familiar physical aspects of anxiety such as churning stomach, sweating hands, racing heart, trembling and inability to take a deep breath, amongst many others are examined. The ‘all too familiar’ problems such as sorrow, guilt, obsession, sleeplessness, depression and loss of confidence are discussed, thereby providing useful information that the anxiety sufferer can tap into. The use of anxiety sufferer’s experiences to illustrate discussion helps this text to ‘come alive’ and provides practical examples that enhance understanding of the concepts discussed.

An aspect of Dr Weekes’ attempt to facilitate the reader’s understanding and recovery from anxiety is the role and power of our thoughts in creating and perpetuating anxiety. The saying ‘Your thoughts are your reality’ comes to mind. I gleaned an impression from this book that Dr Weekes has great faith in our ability to heal our nerves. The practical advice and strategies contained in this book as well as its optimistic tone and faith provide the reader with access to the skills and courage to help themselves onto the path to recovery. An unsolicited piece of advice from this reviewer to the anxiety sufferer would be “Just read it!”

Dr. Weekes books are available from major book retailers, the Open Leaves Bookshop and may be available in your local public library.