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We live in the Age of Anxiety. In any given year, about 18 percent of Americans will suffer from an anxiety disorder, and over the course of a lifetime, this number rises to nearly 30 percent. The rates of overall anxiety have increased dramatically during the last 50 years. In fact, the average child today exhibits the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the 1950s. Thanks to advances in modern psychology, we know much more about anxiety than we once didwhere it comes from, how it operates on the mind, and the behavior it generates. Understanding anxiety is the key to overcoming it.
In Anxiety Free, Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D., best-selling author of The Worry Cure, looks at the origin of anxiety and teaches us how to outsmart our fears for a less stressful life.
Anxiety is part of our biological heritage. Our ancestors lived in a world filled with life-threatening dangers, and it was in the face of these dangers that the human psyche evolved. Fear was protective, and to survive, our ancestors minds were programmed with rules of how to react to their environment. These preprogrammed rules of reaction were passed through the generations and now keep us in the grip of anxiety. We no longer live in the primitive world that created our fears, but we operate as if were still running from tigers, fighting starvation, and risking incurable disease.
To break free from the tyranny of anxiety, we need to rewrite these preprogrammed rules. In Anxiety Free, Leahy addresses the six recognized anxiety disordersspecific phobia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorderexplaining what each is and which outmoded rules it follows. He then offers simple, step-by-step techniques for confronting and overcoming our specific anxieties.
Using Leahys methods, which are based on the best psychological treatments available, we can work toward a life free from the apprehension, tension, and avoidance associated with anxiety.