Hope and Help for Your Nerves Info

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The bestselling step-by-step guide that will show you how to
break the cycle of fear and cure your feelings of panic and
anxiety.
My heart beats too fast. My hands tremble and
sweat. I feel like there’s a weight on my chest. My stomach
churns. I have terrible headaches. I can't sleep. Sometimes I can't even
leave my house...

These common symptoms of anxiety are
“minor” only to the people who don't suffer from them. But
to the millions they affect, these problems make the difference between a
happy, healthy life and one of crippling fear and
frustration.
In Hope and Help for Your Nerves, Dr. Claire Weekes
offers the results of years of experience treating real
patients—including some who thought they'd never recover. With her
simple, step-by-step guidance, you will learn how to understand and
analyze your own symptoms of anxiety and find the power to conquer your
fears for good.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.54

1702 Ratings

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Reviews for Hope and Help for Your Nerves:

5

Dec 26, 2013

I read from this book daily while recovering from a major panic attack--my first and I pray my last. I was able to sleep only by taking a tranquilizer. I never knew such fear existed nor imagined I would experience it, nor the suicidal ideation that came with it in waves over the following weeks. The first chapter gave me immediate relief, enabling better sleep. I kicked the tranquilizer, a dangerously addictive drug, a couple of months later. Four months later I was sleeping well, taking only I read from this book daily while recovering from a major panic attack--my first and I pray my last. I was able to sleep only by taking a tranquilizer. I never knew such fear existed nor imagined I would experience it, nor the suicidal ideation that came with it in waves over the following weeks. The first chapter gave me immediate relief, enabling better sleep. I kicked the tranquilizer, a dangerously addictive drug, a couple of months later. Four months later I was sleeping well, taking only St. John's Wort, melatonin and 5-HTP.

(Understand that it takes TIME to heal your nerves after a major panic episode.)

I simply can't say enough about this book. The more severe your illness, the more you will get out of it. People with only a mild condition may not find it very useful.

The most important concept Dr. Weekes stresses is "second fear," the background fear that the initial fear will return. She provides tools for dealing with second fear, such as imagining yourself "floating" in stressful settings and "letting time pass"--knowing that time spent in peaceful surroundings, will heal your hypersensitized nerves. The mere knowledge of this "time heals" aspect brings a measure of relief.

Dr. Weeks gives a string of simple illustrating examples in a variety of settings that give the reader confidence that relief is not only possible but assured.

There are more modern books about recovering from "nervous illness," but I doubt any of them can measure up to the standard set by Claire Weeks in terms of the self-confidence that is essential to chipping away the fear that must be overcome to enable recovery.

Dr. Weekes writes in a conversational style, as if you were a patient. No technical jargon. No stilted academic complications. She writes plainly and succinctly, with compassion for the suffering patient not to impress her peers with how much she knows about the topic.

(Look also for her recordings, which seem even more powerful than the book, judging from the sample I heard.) ...more
5

Mar 15, 2011

Most amazing anxiety book. The only anxiety book you will ever need. Basic, no bells/whistles. AMAZING. My therapist urged me to read this book. I finally bought it ($7.99, most inexpensive anxiety book there is!) and two pages in I already felt relief and hope. Claire Weekes helped me get my life back during a scary time. She knows what she is talking about. Cannot recommend highly enough.
5

Feb 20, 2008

In no way is this meant to be facetious: It's the only social anxiety disorder book you'll ever need. Her simple coping techniques work wonders.
5

Apr 16, 2010

I was having a ton of anxiety for a week or so, so I bought this book. I was feeling really stressed and depressed and had a pit in my stomach all day long for days. I didn't feel like eating and felt dread all day. I lost confidence in my abilities.

I also experienced a few panic attacks. I'd feel really lightheaded like I was going to pass out, it was hard to swallow, my body would feel all tingly, and I felt like I couldn't do anything but lie there. The book says those symptoms are all the I was having a ton of anxiety for a week or so, so I bought this book. I was feeling really stressed and depressed and had a pit in my stomach all day long for days. I didn't feel like eating and felt dread all day. I lost confidence in my abilities.

I also experienced a few panic attacks. I'd feel really lightheaded like I was going to pass out, it was hard to swallow, my body would feel all tingly, and I felt like I couldn't do anything but lie there. The book says those symptoms are all the result of adrenalin and it's nothing to worry about. She reassures that you can indeed still function. Just float through it.

The book helped me understand what was happening to me and easy ways to help these unpleasant feelings go away. My nerves had become too sensitive so that every scary or stressful thought released too much adrenalin so I'd feel intensely scared or stressed, more than that thought warranted. And then I didn't know what was going on and was scared about what was happening to me and maybe I was going crazy, so my body would release more adrenalin and I'd feel those panicky feelings again and it was a bad cycle. The book reassured me that those symptoms I was feeling were just a result of the adrenalin, nothing was wrong with me, and it happens to a lot of people. It gives four quite simple, but effective techniques for breaking the panic-adrenalin-panic cycle and helping my nerves to desensitize:

First, face your feelings. Instead of shrinking from the upsetting sensations, zero in on them and analyze them.

Second, accept. When I feel those panic feelings, I need to change my scared mood into an accepting mood. I need to tell myself it's okay that I'm having those feelings and they aren't going to hurt me and then once my mood shifts to an accepting mood my body will stop releasing the adrenalin.

Third, I should let upsetting thoughts "float" out of my mind because they are just thoughts and not give them credence.

The last technique is to let time pass. Be patient and don't get scared if those feelings come back. Just keep doing the first three techniques.

Anyway, the book was very reassuring and easy to read and understand. It has helped a ton and I'm feeling back to my old self again. I've always been a worrier so these techniques are helping me to relax which is good especially since worrying doesn't help anything. ...more
5

April 8, 2014

I LOVE it!definitely answers all my questions and takes me out my doubts and gives me some reasurement
5

Jun 25, 2009

Even though this book was written in the 60's, its knowledge still applies. It helped me save my life.
5

May 31, 2010

I recommend this book to anyone who suffers from Anxiety/Panic disorder. I've been suffering for about 2 years (on and off) and this is a book I can always turn to for comfort. For reassurance. To know that all this anxiety and panic, with their symptons, will all pass and I get certainly go back to being the person I used to be. I felt as if the book was written towards me, knew everything I was going through and even the thoughts in my head. An excellent book!
4

Oct 23, 2013

I help people with their thinking, emotions, relationships and beliefs every day. This little gem, written back in 1969 by an Australian physician/psychiatrist should be in the hands of every person who has ever suffered with a full-on panic/anxiety disorder. We call that general diagnosis "GAD" or Generalized Anxiety Disorder today. There are a lot of great resources out there to help. This book is quite personal, clear and wonderful. It's not perfect; she suggests leaving the family for up to I help people with their thinking, emotions, relationships and beliefs every day. This little gem, written back in 1969 by an Australian physician/psychiatrist should be in the hands of every person who has ever suffered with a full-on panic/anxiety disorder. We call that general diagnosis "GAD" or Generalized Anxiety Disorder today. There are a lot of great resources out there to help. This book is quite personal, clear and wonderful. It's not perfect; she suggests leaving the family for up to several months to recover, which is not something I would easily advise to anyone. And all the advice will probably not be enough without therapy, but it's a helpful adjunct.

Her principles of treatment, and they are right:

1. facing fear as a normal emotion running too high in your life
2. accepting that it is doing that at the moment, and it WONT KILL YOU
3. learning to rise, or float above or behind the annoying physical sensations
4. giving your body time to heal itself from the super-tuned-in experience of fear sensation that has you knotted up

This, along with EMDR, talk therapy, exercise and a lot of self reflection can and will help most anyone recover.

...more
5

Nov 11, 2014

If you have ever suffered from anxiety or panic attacks, and/or continue to suffer, this book is a MUST read. I struggled terribly with anxiety in my mid-twenties to early thirties and this book really helped me understand the biological effects that were driving and altering my behaviour. It changed my outlook and gave me the confidence to get well.
5

Jan 13, 2010

Do not underestimate this book because it was originally published 1969. This is an incredibly powerful book in helping deal with anxiety and panic attacks. It's especially potent if you are on the frayed edge feeling like you're having a nervous breakdown. This book is so quick to read and you can usually get it very cheaply (sometimes less than a dollar) or at your library, but it contains the most helpful and clearest advice I ever received for panic attacks. "Let the first wave pass..."
5

Feb 25, 2013

Can I buy a pocket Claire app? She does this amazing thing. In a compassionate and truly unpatronizing fashion, sort of like a loving Auntie with a Ph.D., she breaks down the physiological structure of panic attacks, anxiety, and all of those bad things that keep those of us who suffer in a cycle we are afraid we can't get out of, and shows us that we can. Claire explains how, and is gently encouraging. I am not done with the book but it is bringing me great comfort and relief from this beast. Can I buy a pocket Claire app? She does this amazing thing. In a compassionate and truly unpatronizing fashion, sort of like a loving Auntie with a Ph.D., she breaks down the physiological structure of panic attacks, anxiety, and all of those bad things that keep those of us who suffer in a cycle we are afraid we can't get out of, and shows us that we can. Claire explains how, and is gently encouraging. I am not done with the book but it is bringing me great comfort and relief from this beast. Thanks, Claire. ...more
2

Jan 28, 2015

The main 4 ideas presented in this book are indeed helpful....but thats all it is. Its just repeated in like 20 different ways over 200 pages.. o.O

Also...i feel like this was written for a 1950s housewife, lol. On the better things, i say!
5

Nov 09, 2019

This was delightful and helpful. A very old school vibe, but that made it charming and comfortable. The advice is clear and practical, and always encouraging.

Listened to a 1-hour audio version on Scribd, narrated by the author on "records" at some point. That just made it even more charming.

I got many valuable insights from reading this one, and would easier re-read it to reaffirm the insights yet again.
5

Aug 08, 2014

I don't know if this book is still in print, but it's worth scoping around used book stores to find a copy so you can underline passages. And there is much to underline here.

First, Claire Weekes uses the old-fashioned term "nervous illness," which, for some reason, sounds less threatening to me than the word anxiety. She takes the shame out of anxiety by referring to the illness as "severe sensitization" of the nervous system. Nerves become sensitized after a surgery, a major illness, prolonged I don't know if this book is still in print, but it's worth scoping around used book stores to find a copy so you can underline passages. And there is much to underline here.

First, Claire Weekes uses the old-fashioned term "nervous illness," which, for some reason, sounds less threatening to me than the word anxiety. She takes the shame out of anxiety by referring to the illness as "severe sensitization" of the nervous system. Nerves become sensitized after a surgery, a major illness, prolonged tension, dieting, and whatever stresses the body. The body reacts with the symptoms of anxiety: a churning stomach, sweaty hands, racing heart, etc. These reactions become a habit.

Second, the author explains every symptom in her no-nonsense yet reassuring tone, taking the fear out of the experience.

Third, she encourages the reader to face the fearful symptoms, and not add to them through what she calls "second fear"...those worrisome what if thoughts that keep our stomachs churning, our hands sweating, our hearts racing.

She reminds us that overcoming a case of sensitization doesn't happen quickly, but, like any habit, it can be changed.

The sufferer can be cured.

This book, as well as a steady practice of meditation, helped me kick the panic habit. If I overtax myself and start becoming sensitized again, I often reach for this book, and Dr. Weekes' understanding, encouraging voice, to steady my nerves again. ...more
0

Oct 24, 2013

I CANNOT reccomend this book enough! This is the penultimate classic for dealing with panic attacks and/or anxiety. I listened to the audio books in order to help me sleep and the advice Ms. Weekes gives is timeless and practical. She was "damed" (she-knighted) by the Queen of England for her contributions and they are still relevant today. Along with "How Top Stop Worrying and Start Living" by Carnegie, it is one of the best books for coping with and overcoming anxiety and panic. It is simply I CANNOT reccomend this book enough! This is the penultimate classic for dealing with panic attacks and/or anxiety. I listened to the audio books in order to help me sleep and the advice Ms. Weekes gives is timeless and practical. She was "damed" (she-knighted) by the Queen of England for her contributions and they are still relevant today. Along with "How Top Stop Worrying and Start Living" by Carnegie, it is one of the best books for coping with and overcoming anxiety and panic. It is simply unmatched and easy to focus on and internalize her message and I re-read it when things get tough. Happy reading, all! :) ...more
5

Sep 01, 2012

If you want explanation of how anxiety works and why we have certain thoughts, this book will change your life ! I love it!
5

Sep 14, 2007

Don't be put off by the dated language. Full of useful methods for managing panic attacks, social anxiety and many other depression-related afflictions.
5

October 13, 2014

This book will give a person sufferring so much relief. Just knowing someone understands the entire process is a miracle in and of itself. Give this book a try. Hours of fear, pain, and other classic symptoms will melt away. Practice what she says to do, depending on how bad your nerves have bee...Full Review
5

Sep 05, 2018

I am so glad a friend on Instagram recommended this book! I have been fainting or nearly fainting at seemingly random moments for the past two years, doctors couldn’t find anything wrong, and last week I put it together that I think I was having panic attacks. I didn’t know how to stop them and was now having trouble getting over the fear of having another one in public. This book was so helpful in encouraging me to accept the feelings or bodily reactions when they come and pass through them in I am so glad a friend on Instagram recommended this book! I have been fainting or nearly fainting at seemingly random moments for the past two years, doctors couldn’t find anything wrong, and last week I put it together that I think I was having panic attacks. I didn’t know how to stop them and was now having trouble getting over the fear of having another one in public. This book was so helpful in encouraging me to accept the feelings or bodily reactions when they come and pass through them in a relaxed fashion rather than trying so hard to resist them which makes it worse. I’ve already tried this today and it was so helpful! Highly recommended to anyone who is having any physical problems that doctors can’t explain — this might be the solution to your problems! ...more
4

Nov 09, 2009

A great book about overcoming anxiety and panic. I'd recommend it for anyone - not just the "nervously ill," as the author calls them.

She gives important information about the role of the sympathetic nervous system in producing symptoms of anxiety. She recommends "floating past" these physiological responses by realizing that we are in no immediate real danger. This process is quite different from fighting against anxiety; it involves understanding and acceptance, not a struggle. She describes A great book about overcoming anxiety and panic. I'd recommend it for anyone - not just the "nervously ill," as the author calls them.

She gives important information about the role of the sympathetic nervous system in producing symptoms of anxiety. She recommends "floating past" these physiological responses by realizing that we are in no immediate real danger. This process is quite different from fighting against anxiety; it involves understanding and acceptance, not a struggle. She describes how "sensitized nerves" can persist even after we have learned to understand these fight-or-flight reactions and reminds us that recovery is gradual but always possible. Since fighting against anxiety would be to contribute to the original problem (a hyperactive fight-flight reaction), it is not helpful. The key is to simply understand, notice and accept.

The book might have earned 5 stars if it hadn't (on more than three occasions) recommended electroconvulsive (shock) therapy. This seems not to be the only thing out of date in this book; she also makes repeated references to something called "brain fag." Other than these diminutions, which are forgivable given what was known at the time the book was published, this is a solid effort. ...more
5

Jun 15, 2014

Claire Weekes' book and others like it spelled the decline of psychoanalysis in therapy for people suffering from mental illness. Like a good scientist, she had a hypothesis and tested it through years of treating patients, shucking the Freudian or a primal scream approach and forcing theories on her patients.

Weekes says chronic anxiety is a result of sensitization, a sort of self-perpetuating cycle of agony that bewilders otherwise intelligent people. Scientists may not understand the neurology Claire Weekes' book and others like it spelled the decline of psychoanalysis in therapy for people suffering from mental illness. Like a good scientist, she had a hypothesis and tested it through years of treating patients, shucking the Freudian or a primal scream approach and forcing theories on her patients.

Weekes says chronic anxiety is a result of sensitization, a sort of self-perpetuating cycle of agony that bewilders otherwise intelligent people. Scientists may not understand the neurology behind chronic anxiety other than explaining the fight-or-flight mechanism, yet there is no reason why tested strategies in coping with anxiety should not be encouraged if they help save people.

I do not for a second think there is a cure for anxiety. But there are ways to think and not think about anxiety, and thinking about anxiety as a demon sitting on one's shoulder can make someone who is suffering from anxiety feel possessed.

Weekes helps sufferers get some perspective, and she writes from the perspective of someone who has had her own crippling bouts of anxiety.

I cannot recommend this book more, even if it's a bit dated.

...more
1

Oct 07, 2018

Shockingly ignorant

Let me save you some time. This book gives one piece of good advice, and that is to learn to accept fear and float through it. You can read about the first 40% of the book and get all the info you need to do this. After that, the author goes off the deep end. She recommends medicated sleep for several weeks (with a doctors supervision, of course, otherwise it would just be stupid). She tells mothers to go away for at least two months because it is normal to feel like to want Shockingly ignorant

Let me save you some time. This book gives one piece of good advice, and that is to learn to accept fear and float through it. You can read about the first 40% of the book and get all the info you need to do this. After that, the author goes off the deep end. She recommends medicated sleep for several weeks (with a doctors supervision, of course, otherwise it would just be stupid). She tells mothers to go away for at least two months because it is normal to feel like to want to kill your family, starting with your snoring husband. Just two of the many horrible suggestions for dealing with ‘nervous illness’. How about some things that actually help: hormone balancing, proper diet and supplementation, therapy, stress reduction, sunlight, exercise. This book had so much potential, but left me shaking my head. I couldn’t actually finish reading it and just skimmed the last several chapters. ...more
5

Sep 02, 2013

I cannot say enough amazing things about this book. Dr. Weekes is brilliant! I picked up this book after hearing her name mentioned a lot. I was suffering horrific anxiety due to a medical diagnosis I received. I have only just finished reading it so I cannot yet claim to be cured. But, applying her strategies has helped me immensely with my anxiety. Yes it is an older book and therefore has language which is "old-fashioned" and dated. But to me it just felt like I had an older trusted, wise I cannot say enough amazing things about this book. Dr. Weekes is brilliant! I picked up this book after hearing her name mentioned a lot. I was suffering horrific anxiety due to a medical diagnosis I received. I have only just finished reading it so I cannot yet claim to be cured. But, applying her strategies has helped me immensely with my anxiety. Yes it is an older book and therefore has language which is "old-fashioned" and dated. But to me it just felt like I had an older trusted, wise advisor by my side, understanding me and helping me move forward. This is a fabulous book, actually life-changing. I wish I could write Dr. Weekes a thank you letter, but sadly she has passed away. ...more
5

Oct 31, 2013

Simply the best. I've owned it for ten years and recently needed to get it off my bookshelf and re-read it. If you have ever suffered from depression, anxiety, or panic disorders, please buy this book. If Dr. Weekes was still alive, I'd be tempted to travel to Australia and hug her. It's that helpful, and she's that kind.
5

August 1, 2018

This book will give a person sufferring so much relief. Just knowing someone understands the entire process is a miracle in and of itself. Give this book a try. Hours of fear, pain, and other classic symptoms will melt away. Practice what she says to do, depending on how bad your nerves have been beaten up and how quick you decide to do the simple tasks she asks of you will dictate the length of your recovery! Through prayer, God directed me to her books 30 years ago... there is hope!

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