Dr. Claire Weekes – Anxiety Superhero
Many of us spend days, weeks, or even years looking for a person that will point us in the right direction.
A person that will not only explain our anxiety disorder in clear terms, but also how we can cope with it without going broke.
There are so many great ways to cope with anxiety, but unfortunately many of them require a lot of moolah.
Dr. Weekes on the other hand, provides inexpensive resources that can actually make you feel better.
Now, Dr. Claire Weekes ( 1903 – 1990) is not a caped crusader. She was a medical doctor and writer from Australia that spent over 40 years helping people like me and you.
Dr. Weekes is an anxiety superhero in that she also suffered from what she called “Nervous Illness,” but never allowed it to rule her life. She designed a basic program for recovery that was focused on overcoming what she called the three main pitfalls of nervous illness (anxiety disorder).
The pitfalls are sensitization , bewilderment (confusion) and fear. For Dr. Weekes, these are the three reasons why you are the way you are, and why you stay this way.
She describes sensitization as a person’s body being in an elevated state of sensitivity so that almost anything can trigger the sympathetic nervous system, which leads to things like panic attacks.
Dr. Weekes stated that this was the reason why you are jumpy, and prone to the over production of adrenaline, which ultimately causes all the nasty physical symptoms you encounter.
The second pitfall is bewilderment. She believed that because most people don’t understand the physical basis for a panic attack, or other anxiety related symptom, they become confused and “stuck in a maze.” It’s the confusion that keeps you anxious and may even worsen the condition, since it tends to rob you of hope and direction.
The last pitfall is fear. Dr. Weekes argues that after a while you’re simply afraid of your constant state of fear. This also contributes to more sensitization and confusion.
Dr. Weekes also thought of chronic anxiety as a cycle, a set pattern. A pattern that could be figured out and defeated.
Best of all, recovery from chronic anxiety according to Dr. Weekes is not rocket science. Her method of recovery is this: accept, float, and let time pass. She states over and over that if you do this you can get better.
Dr. Weekes wrote five books in total and also made several radio and T.V. appearances. Of all her works however there are two that I have relied on for peace and comfort when things got tough.
1. Hope and Help for Your Nerves . This relatively short book is her first, and it’s packed with useful information and self help tips on how to cope with your anxiety. I read this book on a regular basis to help me understand things more clearly. It is broken up into short chapters, which really makes it a great reference. She also talks about many of her patients and how anxiety manifested itself in them, and how they figured out creative ways to cope.
2. My all time favorite however is her audio CD called Pass Through Panic: Freeing Yourself from Anxiety and Fear . This CD is a an absolute life safer. To hear Dr. Weekes’s voice in times of need was really indispensable. She has a way of “cracking the whip” on you and making you realize that you are, in fact, not crazy. And, that this anxiety disorder of yours will not kill you. It comes in both CD and cassette.
I wanted to introduce Dr. Weekes to you because I had gone over five years with anxiety disorder without ever hearing her name. She is really is a giant in this field, and her contributions to helping people that suffer from anxiety disorder really can’t be overstated.
She explains things very simply and clearly, and gives you the sense that she really understands not only anxiety disorder, or “Nervous Illness,” but your personal struggle with it. I used to keep her audio CD in my car and the book in my home.
I have gained a tremendous amount of support and hope from Dr. Weekes. Much of what I believe to be effective coping strategies I adopted from her work .
Although I still incorporate other methods into my personal coping strategy, Dr. Weekes’s views and opinions still guide much of what I do and think with respect to my anxiety disorder. I strongly recommend that you look up her work and see if she can’t help you as well.