Most helpful critical review
126 of 142 people found the following review helpful
Beware: Formerly Titled THE STRESS ANSWER
on May 19, 2010
Two years ago, I went from being a high-functioning adult, to a person who cried all day long and could not focus, and was experiencing crippling stress. I didn't even know I was sick at first. I could not add two numbers together even with the help of Excel. I was a professional with a secure (but stressful, unpleasant-type)job. Eventually I had to resign and start my own business, one of a very different nature, and so I have had much improvement.
During this time, I bought this book (here named "Retraining the Brain") then titled "The Stress Answer" by this author, and it offered a possible explanation for what I was experiencing, in a severe form. Basically, some of your brain waves in one of the frontal lobes of your brain start increasing, while the rest of the brain is keeping normal pace. This causes what he calls a "stress storm." The author suggests it is because we unknowingly create this pattern by our repeated responses to a particular situation. Before we know it, they have become automatic and once the brain waves get going, there's not much you can do. But you can train yourself to respond differently to the situations, and eventually train yourself/your brain to make the new response automatic. The old response is not gone, it just falls by the wayside, because the new response takes over.
While I have not tried many of the exercises (because they take discipline & focus, which is part of what is lacking in me at present), they seemed to offer the only hope I had. No doctor has really offered an answer, except to say my sudden illness is probably anxiety. I did have several life-altering things happen prior to the onset of the problem. My doctor has me on medication that really helps, after trying several different things. But my goal is to get off of medication at some point. The book makes the possibility look very promising.
Back to the book. I did try one of the techniques, playing songs that had the kind of rhythm the book suggests, that will affect the "speeded up" alpha waves that are causing the problem. This has been a successful technique. I would suggest the song, "Oh My Lord, What a Morning" by Mahalia Jackson. So far, that has been the best song of all for me.
What upsets me about this new version of the old publication, is that it is exactly the same book, and if you blow the picture up closely, you will see at the bottom left in light gray, "previously published as The Stress answer."
So I bought the same book twice. Shame on whoever allowed that to happen, especially because the people buying this book are in real need of help, not more stress. So whether it is the author or the publisher, I don't know. But I now wonder if I can trust a book that has been remarketed in such as way as to cause me to buy it twice. Its credibility factor plummeted for me.
Other than that, it does look promising, but the author needs to include a CD of his special music he talks about in the book. There is a bit of hype here, and the device the author suggests you use (but does not insist)looks like a hocus-pocus cardboard box, and it is expensive. So you be the judge.
But this is a definite Try It for those with severe ANXIETY, which actually is much different than stress or depression. I would just not put as much confidence and hope in its techniques as I once did.