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Review - Dont Panic by Dr Sallee McLaren

Review of Dr Sallee McLaren's 'Don't Panic you can overcome anxiety without drugs'

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Review 1. Julie - ADAVIC Volunteer - September 2004

I've just finished reading Sallee McLaren's book and all I can say is that I am actually in awe. Why? Just look at her final words, 'you have the capacity to change. Trust yourself to do it.' Wow, this book is very inspiring, and I don't even suffer from an anxiety disorder. What Sallee has managed to do, is write a book that I feel most people could connect with on some level, at some stage, even if they don't suffer or know of anyone who suffers from anxiety. This is in part due to her use of case studies throughout the book. Not only does this legitimize her own beliefs about anxiety, but it also provides the book with what I describe as a more 'real' feeling to it. While reading this book the case studies simplified and made the larger issues surrounding anxiety easier to understand. I'm sure that these case studies would also be useful for those suffering from disorders to see that they are not alone, it would give them someone to connect with.

Sallee's capacity to write in a friendly, but non-patronizing way, legitimized her ideas because I felt as though she truly understood these people, she writes with extreme clarity on the issues. I continually wanted to read on. What this book was to me, was a personalized journey through anxiety disorders. I felt, through Sallee's firm, yet patient and gentle language that she was giving me a guiding hand in not only anxiety disorders, but also life. And it is for this very reason I would recommend this to not only people suffering from anxiety disorders but even those who want a little help in life, that little extra 'push' to recognize and change the negatives in their life.


Review 2. Janesse Gorman - September 2004


I love to read, and suffering from an anxiety disorder myself I have read many, upon many books on anxiety. A few have been excellent, a few have been helpful and a few totally useless. In my opinion there is an awful lot of rubbish written about anxiety disorders, so you will understand that I approached this book with much skepticism.

I am pleased to say I was pleasantly surprised. Sallee McLaren has written an insightful, thoughtful book on dealing with anxiety. As Sallee explains in the book, while she is not morally 'anti-drug', she takes a drug-free approach to anxiety recovery.

I often feel that anxiety disorders are written about in a very simplistic, one size fits all type of way, for example "Do this and this in exactly this way and you will recover". This is where frustration sets in for many people. They do this and this in exactly this way, and they DON'T get any better. Sallee explains just how emotionally complex anxiety disorders are and how people with anxiety disorders hold negative assumptions about themselves and their lives. Sallee devotes a chapter to each of the negative assumptions and gives guidelines for changing each one. Sallee has chosen some interesting case studies to illustrate her points and they work very well.

One of the many new ideas I found in the book was Sallee's 'body flop' exercise to help deal with panic in the chapter on fear. Apart from breathing slowly and relaxing your body, Sallee advises to look out towards the world gently and softly as if you believe the world is a totally benevolent place. I absolutely loved this approach and found it worked very well for me.

I often find that books written about anxiety tend to be very clinical and dry. Sallee's approach, while professional, is also very readable and personable.

While an easy book to read, for those of us with an anxiety disorder dealing with our complex emotions is not easy. Sallee promises no quick solutions but if we are willing to learn new approaches, over time this will result in change.

Don't Panic is an empowering book and I would seriously urge anyone struggling with an anxiety disorder to read it.
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