book review: Rewire Your Anxious Brain

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Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry by Catherine Pittman. Publisher: New Harbinger Publications [January 2, 2015]. Paperback. 232 pages.

“Anxiety is a human emotion, produced by the human brain, and emotions are caused by the brain’s reactions to situations, not the situations themselves.”

If you’ve been in treatment for anxiety, done CBT [Cognitive Behavioral Therapy] or DBT [Dialectical Behavioral Therapy] this will mostly be review. It’s quite clinical in parts. Author Catherine Pittman describes two types of anxiety: amygdala-based and cortex-based. The amygdala is responsible for the flight or fight response. It attaches EMOTIONAL SIGNIFICANCE to situations or objects. The cortex pathway creates worries, obsessions and interpretations that create anxiety. If focusing on specific thoughts or images you have cortex-based anxiety. If you feel that a specific object, location or situation elicits an anxiety response you have amygdala-based anxiety. You can have one or the other or both anxiety types. There are details about some anatomy and brain function. The brain is neuropathic. It holds the capacity to change its structures and reorganize powers of reacting. Exercise and sleep reduces anxiety as we know. Also CBT, mindfulness and medication can help. “Exercise produces a protein that promotes the growth of neurons in the brain, particularly in cortex and hippocampus.”

RATING: ***/5

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from the publisher.

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