My Anxiety Handbook by Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher and Phoebe McEwen – book review

Synopsis

For 12 to 18-year-olds with anxiety, this anxiety survival guide will help you learn to recognise and manage symptoms and overcome your biggest worries. This book helps you understand the ins and outs of your own anxiety, and challenge the difficult patterns you may get into.

Co-written with a college student who has experienced anxiety herself, it is a relatable and straightforward guide. As well as providing tried-and-tested advice and exercises that are proven to reduce feelings of anxiety, it includes recovery stories from young people who have managed their symptoms successfully. It includes chapters on sleep, exams and transitions.

Overall Plot

“My Anxiety Handbook” is the first self-help book I’ve read this month. I flicked through the book briefly in the library and it seemed like a straightforward, easy to read self-help book. There was a lot of text throughout the chapters which was thankfully broken up by various illustrations. The first few chapters focused mainly on what anxiety is, how one gets anxiety and ways to tackle anxiety.

These chapters were fairly straight forward and the authors gave a good explanation of anxiety that the reader can easily understand. There were some great tips and tricks throughout the book on how to tackle anxiety (going for a walk, meditation, good night’s sleep etc.) all of which are mentioned quite a lot in many anxiety based books.

Opinion

Maybe it is because I’ve read many anxiety/depression books in the past and I’ve gained a deep understanding of anxiety but I felt as though much information that was mentioned in the book I knew already. Chapters such as school, college and exam stress, discussed tips for exams all of which I have seen in various books such as this one.

However, I quite liked the “Tackling Worries” chapter. I might even give the worry box idea a go as it sounds quite interesting. I also like the addition of personal experiences throughout the book. I felt like I could relate to what some of the students spoke about and how they are managing their anxiety. The personal experience sections covered many different events that caused anxiety for students such as bullying, stress, feeling out of place etc. The students were of different ages, some in their early teens, and some in their early to late 20s.

Conclusion

This was a nice informative self-help book. Unfortunately, to me I felt that I had heard a lot of the information before whether by books, films, guest speakers etc. Only some of the information was new to me. While I could relate to some of the students stories about their struggle with anxiety, in my opinion this book is much more geared at early teens (ages 14-17).

If you haven’t read an anxiety book before or you would like to learn more about it then I would highly recommend this book as it gives great tips on how to reduce feelings of anxiety. I would rate “My anxiety handbook” 3 stars.

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