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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Rewire Your Anxious Brain by Catherine M. Pittman and Elizabeth M. Karle

Release Date - January 2015

Catherine M. Pittman
Elizabeth M. Karle
New Harbinger Publications

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I know a lot about anxiety and panic attacks. First, they run in my family. I've had them, my mom did for many years, my maternal grandmother did, and so do many of my aunts. Sadly, my own children have also had them. Therefore, I picked up Rewire Your Anxious Brain to see what these experts would have to say.

After many botched attempts at using medications - from beta blockers to antidepressants - I sought a therapy that would get me off these horrible pills and all their side effects. Instead, I spent many months in therapy, and the book my psychiatrist had me read included many of the exercises and techniques presented in Rewire Your Anxious Brain. Not every method works for every person. While yoga, Tai Chi, and deep breathing work for me, they didn't help my son at all. He found positive self-talk techniques were far better for his needs.

I found the material presented to be very scientific in nature. It delves much farther into the "why" and "how" than the book I had read and used.  I admit at times the science-y talk bogged me down. If it hadn't been for the examples where the authors took a person and detailed the feelings and reasoning, I'm not sure they could have kept me engaged. That said, it did bring to light a few things and helped me see why some of my panic attacks happened, though there are still some that wake me up or that happened while I was watching TV that I've never been able to explain. I also know that that's normal and just that part of my brain. When that happens, I know the key becomes controlling the effects.

I do think that anyone who deals with frequent panic attacks needs to sit back and read Rewire Your Anxious Brain to learn the how and the why. Use that information to help better control your anxiety. One thing my therapist said is that I'm always at risk for having another anxiety attack, but when it happens, I have the keys to controlling how it makes me feel.

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