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Posted April 20, 2004
If you¿re in the middle of a panic attack, you don¿t want to have to wade through a lot of psych theory to explore the underlying causes of your fears and vulnerabilities. You want fast relief. The beauty of this book is, you can use it like a first aid manual to get a grip immediately. Later, when you¿re calmer, you can go back and work through its very practical exercises to help you better understand the nature of your attacks and what you can do next time to halt them. Forget standard psychobabble; Beckfield uses her in-depth understanding of important emotional themes underlying panic to help you figure out your own, unique sensitivities. You¿re encouraged to look at aspects like genetics, personality traits, and early experiences that may have lowered your anxiety threshold, as well as touchy issues like loss and anger that feed into panic attacks. Eye-opening quizzes and exercises are a big help here -- you¿ll learn a lot about your feelings and thought patterns that cause physical reactions like shaking, palpitations, dizziness, chills, nausea, chest pain, and that horrible sensation of losing control or ¿going crazy.¿ Using simple techniques like the controlled breathing exercise to help you chill out quickly during anxious times, you¿ll realize the scary sensations not only do pass; in time, you can make them disappear completely. Beckfield advocates keeping a journal to note panic episodes, record your feelings at the time, and also chart positive actions and successes. It really personalizes this conscious, ongoing process of creating your own ¿comfort zone.¿ The book also includes an up-to-date discussion of the latest medications used to control panic attacks, as well as a section on mindful meditation. Even if you don¿t suffer from full-blown panic attacks, but have near-panic episodes, anxiety in specific situations, or chronic low-level anxiety, you¿ll find useful ways of taking charge and staying calm.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.