THE ANXIETY BOOK: Developing Strength in the Face of Fear

Jonathan R. Davidson, Author, Henry Dreher, Joint Author . Riverhead $24.95 (307p) ISBN 978-1-57322-237-2

Davidson (Herbs for the Mind), director of the Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Program at Duke University Medical Center, with the assistance of science writer Dreher, has produced a valuable tool for dealing with anxiety, a condition that strikes 20 million Americans and may seriously impair their daily functioning. The authors divide chronic anxiety into five major categories: generalized anxiety, social phobia, posttraumatic stress, panic, and obsessive compulsive disorders. Informed coverage of each category is provided, including symptoms, manifestations and self-assessment tests that help readers identify which type of anxiety is troubling them. Davidson has treated anxiety disorders for decades and draws on patient histories and research to offer treatment options. For example, if someone is unduly frightened of public speaking, he suggests exposure therapy, such as deliberately agreeing to do a presentation at work. Other strategies include developing serenity skills by meditation or progressive muscle relaxation, pursuing a healthy diet and exercise program and taking medications. There is a comprehensive section on the use of herbal remedies. Davidson sets a positive and compassionate tone throughout the text and is convinced, based on clinical evidence, that it is possible to subdue unhealthy anxiety and become an emotionally stronger person after engaging in one or more treatment programs. This is an excellent self-help resource. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/03/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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