Do you worry too much? Are you often sad or down in the dumps? Do you have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning? Or maybe you avoid people more than you should. If so, you’re probably dealing with some type of anxiety or depression. Depression and anxiety are serious problems--they darken vision and distort thinking, while draining joy and pleasure from life.
Everyone feels sad or worried from time to time. Unpleasant feelings are a normal part of life. But when depression or anxiety interferes with work, play, and/or relationships, it’s time to take action.
Good news! You can conquer these problems. And this workbook will help. You can use the Anxiety and Depression Workbook For Dummies on its own or as a supplement to counseling. In either case, numerous studies show that self-help efforts work.
Experts estimate that almost a quarter of the people in the world will experience significant problems with anxiety. And between fifteen and twenty percent will succumb to the ravages of depression at one point or another in their lives. Many people suffer from both of these maladies. Over the years we’ve known many clients, friends, and family members who have anguished over anxiety or depression. Most of them have found significant relief.
So if you struggle with anxiety, depression, or both—you’re not alone. We join you in your battle by giving you strategies based on research and plenty of practice opportunities that help you defeat depression and overcome anxiety.
About This Book
Our purpose in writing this book is to give you a wide range of skills and tools for managing anxiety and depression. Although we overview essential concepts about depression and anxiety, this book is action oriented. In other words, you’ll have the opportunity to actively apply ideas to your life in meaningful ways.
No doubt you’ve used workbooks in school. A math workbook may have helped you apply math concepts to everyday problems. Or a reading workbook improved your ability to comprehend stories. Today, you can find workbooks on almost any topic including selling your home, succeeding on tests, or preparing your taxes.
The purpose of any workbook is to lay out basic understanding about a topic and then provide numerous opportunities for applying and practicing those concepts. Typically, books explain issues. Workbooks help you master new skills. In other words, the Anxiety and Depression Workbook For Dummies is “less talk—more action.”
Did you notice the “work” part of workbook? Oops. Don’t put this book back on the shelf quite yet! You’ll be well “paid” for your work. The compensation comes in the form of increased life satisfaction and reduced emotional distress. And the work is actually rather interesting. That’s because you’ll discover new ways to live your life and get what you want.
Part I: Analyzing Angst and Preparing a Plan
Part 1 helps you discover whether you have a problem with anxiety or depression. It takes you on a journey to the origins of your problems with anxiety and depression. This part helps get you started and see how to track your progress.
Part II: Thinking About Thinking: Thought Therapy
The chapters in this part help you become a thought detective. You see how to examine your thoughts for distortions. Then you prosecute those distorted thoughts and rehabilitate them. You also have the opportunity to practice mindfulness and acceptance—more techniques for handling troubling thoughts.
Part III: Actions Against Angst: Behavior Therapy
This part spells out how to take direct action against the natural tendency to avoid what makes you depressed or anxious. We provide exercises for encouraging exercise.
Part IV: Phocus on Physical Pheelings
It’s also important to address the physical side of distress. Hormones, produced by excessive stress associated with anxiety and depression, ravage the body by increasing blood pressure and contributing to stomach problems, weight gain, and heart disease. Therefore, relaxation techniques play an important role in alleviating anxiety and depression. Medication is an additional option for some people who are depressed or anxious. We also give you guides for making the decision as to whether medications are the right choice for you.
Part V: Relationship Therapy
Depression and anxiety can spillover and contaminate your relationships like sewage dumped into a river. Good relationships offer support in dealing with emotional distress, whereas spoiled relationships just make things worse. This part helps you figure out if your relationships are suffering. Worksheets and exercises help you improve the quality of your relationships.
Part VI: Looking Beyond Anxiety and Depression
After people overcome their anxiety and depression, naturally they prefer to go on with their lives as though they’d never had a problem. Unfortunately, like the flu, you can catch depression or anxiety more than once. Don’t worry; this part prepares you to deal with any setbacks. And it helps you to develop positive habits that lead to a more joyful, meaningful, and connected life.