calm lake

When I see someone with anxiety there are many things I need to know about. Once I met a man with terrible Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which was related to his experiences in the army. He had been through a range of private psychiatrists, psychologists and medications, but nothing had helped him. His life was a mess, with no job, an unhappy relationship and a failed marriage behind him. At first I was daunted with the task of making a difference to his life, but then I remembered that army people can be very disciplined, and can respond to requests, or suggestions or directives in a planned and measured way. I put it to him that he might like to try a specific mindfulness course that is self-taught and runs over an 8-week period. I even gave him a copy of the course (price £8.11). It teaches you to do twice daily deep breathing exercises, it has a habit breaking action every week, and it teaches you how your brain works. 6 weeks later and he had recovered from his PTSD. He also had a job, a new home and was going on holiday. He gave me back my book as he had bought his own, and he asked me to tell his story.

It is common practice for me to recommend this course, and I have been so impressed with it in the past, that I once bought a copy for all 20 people in my workplace.

It is called “Mindfulness- a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world” by psychiatrist Mark Williams and journalist Danny Penman.

I also advise a healthy way of eating as the brain needs good nutrition, and

• CBT via our local mental health service


• Medication where people choose to take it in addition to other methods