I just finished a book called "Excuse me, Your life is Waiting" by Lynn Grabhorn. It is not specifically about dealing with anxiety but it a very humorous, brutally honest look at how life sucks sometimes and we have the power to overcome more than we think we can. I have become so sick over the years of books specifically on anxiety because they seem so repetative. I have learned that no book can tell you how to completely stop panic/anxiety, but there are some that make you feel confident in yourself and that you are not alone. Hope this helps and hope you feel better soon.
I have had anxiety for 7 years, and have only taken meds for one month because they scare me almost as much as my heart symptoms do :-) I became housebound and terrified to go anywhere. I decided I needed some help when I realized that my daughter was housebound with me, against her will. I had learned to "live" with my anxiety, but she shouldn't have to. I was teaching her to be anxious.
Anyway.... :-) I purchased "Attacking Anxiety and Depression" By Lucinda Bassett available through The Midwest Center, a 15 week at-home self-help program, and it literally gave me a new lease on life!!! When I completed the program I could drive again (sometimes by myself), I could leave my daughter with someone and actually enjoy myself while I was away, went out of my way to speak to strangers and contact friends I had been avoiding, and I was able to accept my "health problems" for what they are, symptoms of anxiety. I have Generalized Anxiety, including social anxiety, and seperation anxiety, and with the results I achieved, I feel the program was a life saver!!! If I were to have combined this with meds there's no telling how much more effective it would have been!
I recently had my 2nd child and had a change in heart "symptoms", so I am in the process of completing the program again. It is helping me again, and I am hearing things this time that I had missed the first time around!! It's well worth the price I paid for it in my opinion, just over $200, but I've heard they are available on e-bay at half the cost. I highly recommend it!!
I hope this helps, and I hope you're feeling better soon!!!
I'm using the Midwest Center program too. Just started about two weeks ago. It is more like $500 now (DVD's included). I'm not sure if I should pay the full amount or buy it on Ebay. I checked it out and there were some going for much cheaper. I wonder what would happen if I called them directly and asked for a better deal since I can get it on Ebay. Worth a shot. I do really like Lucinda Basset. Her energy is infectious and she has a lot of useful advice, especially since she has experienced these issues personally. I do kind of feel like my anxiety level has risen since using the program though. They did mention that that may happen. It just seems like I need a break from thinking about my "issues" so I go a couple of days without listening. Stop and start. Gotta commit to this!
And a book I just read was really sweet. The Happiness Makeover by MJ Ryan. Short chapters on how to make life more happy. I really enjoyed it. I got it from my local library. I'd start there first if you're looking for any self help books. Here's the website for The Happiness Makeover. You can sign up for daily email happiness boosters. They're very comforting and fun.
I forgot to mention that I purchased the program almost two years ago and after two weeks of doing the program my panic attacks stopped. I was learning how to talk myself out of them. I went one year and 7 months without an attack, until one month ago when my new heart "symptoms" appeared, and once I accepted them as a symptom of anxiety my panic attacks again stopped. If the only thing the program "cures" is the panic attacks, I'm fine with that :-), but it DOES do so much more!!
I know what you mean about the increased anxiety when starting the program, but I realized a few weeks into it that I was worrying about not worrying anymore. I actually thought to myself, "what if I stop worrying about my health and it ends up I was right to be worried afterall !!" But then I said "I have been this way for 5 years now and what I feel hasn't killed me yet. I will give myself completely to this program for 15 weeks (just under 4 months) and if I don't see a change I will know something is wrong." I gave it my all, and by the end of the program I felt 100% better. I knew that I had been doing it to myself with my "self-talk". I am doing the program again expecting the same benefits. When I'm done I will post my results. Good luck to you, and enjoy your precious present moment!!!!!
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