A Book Review - The Anxiety Cure
March 15, 2011
Dr. Archibald Hart (1999) makes scientific and Biblical observations into the realities of the effects of anxiety, depression, and stress on the human body. Since Hart understands human physiology and the chemical processes within the mind, he uses Scriptural application to help the reader grow in understanding that, though some medicines can be used to help, it is ultimately the individual who is responsible for his own happiness. The misunderstanding of healthy stress and unhealthy stress can add to an illusion of control, thereby obscuring the signs that lead to an eventual, full-fledged panic attack. Hart points out physical symptoms to help a person to recognize what is happening in an effort to disarm tensions before permanent damage can occur. One interesting point he identifies is the difficulty an individual can have in easily recognizing the beginnings of panic anxiety. When the body is in balance, it naturally produces everything from within to help with pain control and the development of a tranquil state (Hart, 1999). When prolonged stress occurs, the body’s natural supply becomes unbalanced and can eventually become depleted. Unless the stressful state is changed, more permanent damage can result. Hart also points out that if permanent damage is done, the receptors in the brain are not able to function, even to the point of reducing the effectiveness of medication. He explains that anxiety is a negative stress that robs the body’s capacity to produce what create a natural state of tranquility in the body. He also points out that some medications can take the place of the body’s natural production of certain chemicals. Hart emphasizes that there is a necessary process to be used when discontinuing medications in order to maintain proper balance in the body.
Hart recognizes external influences contributing to panic disorders and attacks. Research cited by Hart found events from childhood to be a determiner of the likelihood of developing panic disorders. The top three identified childhood events, in descending order, are unwanted and neglected children, abused children, and those who were verbally abused (Hart, 1999). The author also identifies events preceding a panic attack. The top three are a major life trauma (accident or abuse), alcohol or drug abuse, or a death in the family. Hart depicts stress as our modern day plague.
Hart goes on to identify that the most significant reason for anxiety stems from worrying. Hart’s educational technique and approach builds to reveal the solution to anxiety by offering a cure. Hart gives a seven-week plan for breaking the worry habit. The strengths found in this approach are attempting to deal with anxiety through physical, scientific and Biblical perspectives.