How This Book Is Organized

The Anxiety & Depression Workbook For Dummies is organized into seven parts, which we outline in the following sections.

Part I: Analyzing Angst and Preparing a Plan

This part is all about helping you identify your problem and take the first small steps toward recovery. Chapter 1 helps you discover whether you have a problem with anxiety or depression. The quizzes in this chapter help you see where these problems show up in your world and what they do to your thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and relationships. In Chapter 2, you go on a journey to the origins of your problems with anxiety and depression because knowing where it all began helps you realize that you're not to blame. Because change sometimes feels overwhelming, Chapter 3 addresses self-sabotage and helps you keep moving forward. Chapter 4 provides you with ways for keeping track of your moods and becoming more aware of your thoughts.

Part II: Thinking About Thinking: Thought Therapy

The chapters in this part help you become a thought detective. In Chapter 5, you find out how to examine your thoughts for distortions; then, in Chapter 6, you prosecute those distorted thoughts and rehabilitate them.

Chapter 7 shows you how certain core beliefs darken and distort your view of yourself, your world, and your future as surely as eyeglasses with the wrong prescription muddle normal sight. We include tools for regrinding your life-lenses so you see things more clearly. Finally, in Chapter 8, you have the opportunity to practice mindfulness and acceptance — more techniques for handling troubling thoughts.

Part III: Actions Against Angst: Behavior Therapy

Chapter 9 spells out how you take direct action against the natural tendency to avoid what makes you depressed or anxious. In Chapter 10, we get you up and moving by providing workbook-type exercises that encourage physical exercise. When you're depressed or anxious, few activities sound like fun, so Chapter 11 has worksheets for reintroducing pleasure into your life. Finally, Chapter 12 helps you tackle life problems that grow out of your emotional distress.

Part IV: Phocus on Physical Pheelings

Addressing the physical side of distress is as important as addressing the mental or emotional side. Excessive stress associated with anxiety and depression produces hormones that ravage the body by increasing blood pressure and contributing to stomach problems, weight gain, and heart disease. Therefore, relaxation techniques play an important role in alleviating anxiety and depression. In Chapter 13, you find a variety of exercises for reducing tension and stress. Because medication is an additional option for many people who are depressed or anxious, Chapter 14 guides you through the decision of whether or not medications are the right choice for you.

Part V: Relationship Therapy

Depression and anxiety can spill over and contaminate your relationships like sewage dumped into a river. Good relationships offer support in dealing with emotional distress, whereas spoiled relationships just make things worse. Chapter 15 helps you figure out if your relationships are suffering, and the worksheets and exercises in Chapter 16 guide you in improving the quality of your relationships.

Part VI: Looking Beyond Anxiety and Depression

After people overcome their anxiety and depression, naturally they prefer to go on with their lives as though they'd never had a problem. Unfortunately, like the flu, you can catch depression or anxiety more than once. Chapter 17 tells you how to prepare for and deal with any setbacks in your condition, and Chapter 18 helps you develop positive habits that lead to a more joyful, meaningful, and connected life.

Part VII: The Part of Tens

This part contains a couple of our top ten lists when it comes to the subject of anxiety and depression. Chapter 19 recommends ten resources for getting help in dealing with your depression and anxiety. If you're looking for a quick way out of a bad mood, Chapter 20 is for you — it lists ten remedies that don't take a whole lot of effort.

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