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Book Review: The Anxiety Cure

I have been sharing with you recently about the Anxiety and Depression that both my love and I have been dealing with.  I must admit, I have been skeptical in the past when I’ve heard people talk about either of those issues.  They have become such buzz words.  Over-used, over-diagnosed, and over-medicated.  At  least, that’s what I thought. 

You see, it just so happens my best friend suffers greatly with a real-deal anxiety disorder. After walking through that with her, and seeing her several times in the throes of severe panic attacks, I just didn’t think most people knew what they were talking about when they claimed that a situation gave them an “anxiety attack.” I doubted seriously they had really experienced what I had observed in my friend. 

I was so skeptical, in fact, I even denied the issues I was experiencing were actually depression and anxiety.  I said things like, “Oh it’s just stress because my situation is difficult right now.  When life get’s better, I’ll feel better.  No need to over-react.”

Then, back in February, upon the recommendation of our therapist, I started to read The Anxiety Cure, by Dr. Archibald Hart.  It is the most helpful, informative, yet Biblically sound resource on this topic I’ve ever found.  Reading it changed so much about how I think about Anxiety and Depression because it helped me to actually understand the physiological aspects.  If you suspect that you or someone you know may suffer from Depression or an Anxiety Disorder, this book is for you!

The Anxiety Cure link to purchase the book.
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The Science of Brain Chemistry

After a brief introduction to the topic and an outline of what you can expect in the book, Dr Hart jumps right into a very thorough explanation of the science of brain chemistry.  I found this to be so helpful! I had done a little research already, and knew some of what he shared, but never before had I seen the information so well organized and explained. His presentation made it simple to gain a fairly complex understanding of the hows and whys of brain chemistry.

In his book, the Anxiety Cure, Dr. Hart's presentation made it simple to gain a fairly complex understanding of the hows and whys of brain chemistry. Click To Tweet

Dr. Hart went on to build on that foundation and gave an equally thorough lesson on the medications used to treat Depression and Anxiety.  Y’all this was such an eye-opener to me!  It informed my presumptions and changed my mind.  I was suddenly willing to consider the use of medication where I had always dismissed it before.  Of particular help to me was the understanding that the use of medication did not necessitate a life-long dependence. In fact in many, many cases it is simply a jumping off point to healing the brain so that it will do the work it was created to do on its own.

Be anxious for nothing, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace. Philippians 4:6-7

In this first half of the book, which is dealt with in very clinical terms, Dr. Hart very wisely breaks some of that up by including stories from some of his patients.  These narratives serve,  not only as a break from the scientific lingo, but also to give the reader a sense of community.  It is always nice to hear about other people who deal with issues that we deal with.  It’s validating.

Lifestyle Changes that Promote a Healthy Brain

I love the extremely scientific approach in the first half of this book as Dr. Hart educates his audience, but I also love the way his tone completely changes in the second half as he moves into more practical advice on how to integrate lifestyle changes that will facilitate long term brain health.  Incorporating these strategies will allow all but the more severe victims of these disorders to live free from anxiety and depression with only minimal, short term use of medications. With the heart of a teacher, Dr. Hart equips his audience to overcome damaging thoughts and reprogram thinking.

With the heart of a teacher, Dr Hart equips his audience to overcome damaging thoughts and reprogram destructive thinking in his wonderful book, The Anxiety Cure. Click To Tweet

He gives practical exercises and daily practices to promote rest and relaxation.  He offers realistic strategies to combat stress in the business of day-to-day life.  He confronts our tendency to worry and gives a 7 week plan to overcome it.  He talks about fears and phobias and offers suggestions on how to treat them.  Finally, he explains how we can find healing through diet, exercise, Biblical meditation, humor, finding a purpose, and turning to God.

As I said before, I highly recommend this book.  It is not a quick read.  There is tons of information and it may take some time to get through it all with a good solid grasp on it.  It’s worth the effort, though.  You’ll walk away with a much clearer picture of Anxiety and Depression.

***UPDATE – Thanks to the information I learned in this book, I finally gave in and went on an anti-depressant.  At this point, I’ve been on it for almost six months, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results!  I wish I hadn’t waited so long to take this step! My love did the same thing, and we are amazed at how much it cleared his brain.  We both feel so much better, and are so thankful to Dr. Hart for giving us that last little push.
UPDATE #2 – After about a year and a half on lower and lower doses of the medication, my body was finally ready to function well on its own. I am happy to report that I have been off the medication for well over six months now and feel better than ever! I am so thankful for this book.

*How about you? Have you ever dealt with the debilitating effects of anxiety or depression? Were you able to find help?

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***Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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  1. Star

    I read this book years ago (one of many), after being dxd with panic disorder, and agree this was one of the best, especially from a Christian doctor’s perspective. Clearly he knew what he was talking about! I’m glad it helped you and your husband. I didn’t get on Zoloft until many years later, after being dxd with post partum depression. The day after I took it, I felt normal, like other people! All my depression and anxiety was gone. I’m still on it, years later, and I know it’s helped me cope with my husband’s betrayal.

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