Quirky Books: Triumph over Fear by Jerilyn Ross

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Triumph over Fear by Jerilyn Ross

Written in 1994, "Triumph over Fear" is an excellent resource for coping with fear. Severe anxiety disorders are reported to affect thirteen to eighteen percent of the population. Frequently misdiagnosed or masked by another ailment, such as: stress and depression.

Jerilyn Ross was a leader in psychology who founded the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and served as President and Executive Officer, since 1986 until her recent death in 2010. Having personally dealt with agoraphobia and anxiety for several years, she became the spokesperson for anxiety disorders. Appearing on several television shows she was able to make people aware of something we should not take for granted.

Most people deal with anxiety on a regular basis. In fact, a "normal" person experiences an average of three anxiety attacks weekly. Anxiety affects one hundred percent of the population. This book is useful for improving coping with anxiety and recognizing anxiety. There will always be times we make unintended statements or overreact to situations. Empathy is easy, because most people are familiar with sudden rushes of unexplainable emotion.

Ross addresses how frequently people are misdiagnosed several times. It is almost a catch-phrase. Health experts are not avoiding the problem. Media and medical advice is overfull of helpful tips related to anxiety attacks. Watching television or going to the doctor there is always a tip: relaxing with a few deep breathes; leaning against a wall or table to calm down; counting to ten, and focusing on current tasks.

This is common advice, so why read the book? It has deeper insights in recognizing and treating anxiety disorders. How frequently does a person feel like they are flying or in a dream? How frequently does a person worry about not noticing if the light was green or red after passing through an intersection? How frequently does a person ramble? How frequently does a person imagine horrific events before doing something?

Anxiety disorders are commonly linked to agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. Nuances in the book mention aspects people generally misunderstand. People can be agoraphobic and leave the house for scheduled events. It relieves fear by proving they are not agoraphobic; however, it is a justification. People with anxiety disorders usually create excuses to limit time in fear provoking situations, embarrassment or avoidance.

Finding the book intriguing, most people should be aware of anxiety disorders because everyone knows someone with an anxiety disorder, even though it was misdiagnosed. Experiencing bouts of anxiety on occasion, I recall listening to someone having an anxiety attack. They projected fear onto people because everything seemed to be spiraling out-of-control. It would have been great to have foresight in diffusing the situation. Everyone should read "Triumph over Fear."

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