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When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life Paperback – June 12, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


“Few truly great books on psychotherapy have been published, and this is one of them. When Panic Attacks tells you how to deal with all kinds of anxiety and with most other emotional problems. It is clearly and charmingly written.”
—Albert Ellis, Ph.D, founder of the Albert Ellis Institute and bestselling author of A Guide to Rational Living

“Another masterpiece from the author who helped millions help themselves with Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Dr. Burns’s elegant writing style, compassion, and humor translate powerful psychotherapy methods into accessible, practical, and helpful tools for the vast number of individuals who struggle with anxiety.”
—Henny Westra, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the York University Anxiety Research Clinic

About the Author

david d. burns, m.d. is an adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and has served as Visiting Scholar at Harvard Medical School. He conducts lectures and workshops throughout the United States and Canada for healthcare professionals and for the general public and has received numerous media and research awards. His bestselling book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, has sold more than four million copies worldwide and is the book most often recommended by American and Canadian mental health professionals to patients suffering from anxiety and depression.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076792083X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767920834
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David D. Burns, M.D., a clinical psychiatrist, conveys his ideas with warmth, compassion, understanding, and humor unmatched by any other writer in the self-help field. His bestselling Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy has sold more than three million copies to date. In a recent national survey of mental health professionals, Feeling Good was rated number one--from a list of more than one thousand--as the most frequently recommended self-help book on depression. His Feeling Good Handbook was rated number two in the same survey.

Dr. Burns's entertaining teaching style has made him a popular lecturer for general audiences and mental health professionals throughout the country as well as a frequent guest on national radio and television programs. He has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology Through the Media Award from the Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology. A magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College, Dr. Burns received his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is currently clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine and is certified by the National Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

374 of 391 people found the following review helpful By Self Helper on May 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It probably sounds somewhat dramatic, but I can only recall two self-help books that had a drastic effect on my life-by giving me a reasonable relief from anxiety and depression. The first one, Mind over Mood, by Greenberger and the second one, Feeling Good Workbook by Dr. Burns. Both of these books are based on solid research, reason and practicality.

Almost 20 years since his workbook, Dr. Burns has finally written another book. To my disappointment and relief, it looks like he has nothing major to report. The good news is that after all these years of cognitive therapy evolution, there are still only 10 types of cognitive distortions. The bad news is that it takes only 10 to manage a perfect job to make you miserable.

Cognitive therapy is based on the premise that our own automatic and often unnoticed thoughts WITHIN us, not the events that happen TO US, scare us to death which in turn create a warped reality providing fertile soil for depression, anxiety, self-doubt, loneliness, and procrastination. Virtually everyone who is depressed or anxious is at mercy of these distorted thoughts. To get a relief, each distorted thought must be noticed and dealt with. As you can't relieve your hunger by just reading a cookbook, you must apply it to your own situation for at least 15 minutes a day 5 days a week. Once learned and practiced, the technique will offer you resilience to life's day-to-day challenges, unlike the antidepressants where the relief exists only while you take them.

Burns lists various applications to become aware, challenge and rewire your thought pattern and beliefs about yourself and the world. There is no magic, no parent-blaming, just common sense stuff dealing with the here-and-now.
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148 of 153 people found the following review helpful By TinaCFLE on February 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Burns incorporates the last 25 years of research and clinical developments since writing the best-seller FEELING GOOD (strongly recommended as well.) He has written a book which markedly refines and elaborates on FEELING GOOD, rendering the Cognitive Therapy approach found in FEELING GOOD even more effective for quick and long-term relief from distressing emotional conditions, including depression, anxiety, anger, and low-self esteem.

In case you don't know, the book FEELING GOOD has been clinically proven to relieve major depression JUST FROM READING IT and following its instructions. I am confident that a clinical trial on WHEN PANIC ATTACKS would yield similar results for individuals suffering from anxiety disorders. The new book is very readable and far more versatile, and addresses some of the implicit gaps left from the former book.

WHEN PANIC ATTACKS easily stands on its own, and doesn't just address panic attacks, but rather every conceivable type of anxiety, including chronic worrying, phobias, agoraphobia, shyness, public speaking anxiety, writer's block, procrastination, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. As far as I am concerned, Dr. Burns should win a Nobel Prize for what he has accomplished here. Beginning with the "Daily Mood Log" --a sophisticated yet elegantly simple worksheet for documenting and combating one's emotional pain-- he has developed a veritable "technology" for overcoming even the most disabling of human emotions.

Why do we suffer? We suffer because we hold onto some core self-defeating beliefs (SDB's) that leave us rather vulnerable to painful mood swings. Accordingly, he identifies 23 common SDB's.
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99 of 104 people found the following review helpful By the cat's meow on October 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who struggled with panic attacks for over 25 years, I have read a lot of books about anxiety. I now plan to get rid of all of the others! I read Dr. Burns' Feeling Good at my lowest point last year and it was a lifeline for me. That book focuses more on depression, and while some of the information in it applied to anxiety, I kept wishing he would write a book specifically on anxiety. This book has advice and exercises for every type of anxiety. Whether you have job performance anxiety, social anxiety, fear of riding in elevators or having blood drawn, the tools you need to overcome your fears are in here.

The key is--and Dr. Burns reinforces this point--you have to do the exercises in order to feel better. This means actually writing your answers on paper. It also means, in many cases, facing your fears. His methods combine exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. His words are warm and humorous, and you will feel supported as you break down barriers you may have built up for years.

Dr. Burns has improved my life immeasurably. I, and all of my loved ones who have had to suffer along with me for so many years, are grateful! Buy this book and try the exercises.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Shimmura on May 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've been a fan of Dr. Burns for a long time because he explains cognitive behavioral therapy/theory (CBT) so well and has plenty of techniques for using it. The main idea is that the way we think strongly influences how we feel and sometimes, how we act. When we can change our distorted ways of thinking, the door opens to greater happiness and satisfaction. Of course, when the door opens, you have to go through it, that is, you have to practice the techniques to gain the benefits.

Although I like his Feeling Good books, I like "When Panic Attacks" more because the writing is better. It flows more and is funny in places. It has much of the same material as in his earlier books, so you can benefit either way. This one is just easier to read.
Although CBT has helped me with depression and anxiety, it helped me A LOT with anger. Once I really accepted that no one died and made me queen, and that I didn't need to waste energy on trivial annoyances, I became calmer and easier to get along with and that has been a huge thing for me.
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