Face, Accept, Float, Let time pass.
In other words, face your reactions, accept them, do not fight them, float with your feelings, and gradually let time pass. If you are having a panic attack, your body throws up danger signals while your mind goes into worse case scenario. I know, I’ve been there. Dr Claire Weekes advice is simple and it worked for me.
My older family members also recall being helped by Dr Claire Weekes’ publications, including my mother who purchased one of her books in early 1970s. My mother often used to quote a paragraph here or there for the benefit of others with ‘nervous tension’. Gradually the name ‘Dr Claire Weekes’ became synonymous with staying calm (not controlling or fighting the anxiety) and floating through it.
My aunt took Valium (Diazepam) to control her panic attacks, masking the cause, and no guidance was offered to help her understand what was happening to her body. Stress, palpitations, pins and needles, shortness of breath, fear of collapse. She read ‘Self-Help For Your Nerves’ and was able to recognise what was happening and float through it without medication.
This may not work for everyone, especially if there are other symptoms involved.
Dr Claire Weekes wrote five books during her lifetime
- Self Help for Your Nerves (1962)
- Peace from Nervous Suffering (1972)
- Simple Effective Treatment of Agoraphobia (1976)
- More Help for Your Nerves (1984)
- The Latest Help for Your Nerves (1989)
Now a book has been written about her life
‘The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code: The Extraordinary Life of Dr Claire Weekes’
Judith Hoare author (2019) non-fiction, Melbourne Scribe Publications.
“This book is the first to tell that story, and to tell Weekes’ own remarkable tale, of how a mistaken diagnosis of tuberculosis led to heart palpitations, beginning her fascinating journey to a practical treatment for anxiety that put power back in the hands of the individual.” https://scribepublications.com.au/books-authors/books/the-woman-who-cracked-the-anxiety-code
A book review and a quotation offering insight…
MY COMMENT After pointing out the non-scientific nature of Dr Claire Weekes work, and skirting round the fact that she was up against privileged white males who ignored women’s problems (like my mother) Professor of Psychology at University of Melbourne, Nick Haslam writes the following:
“Ages of Anxiety” by Nick Haslam
QUOTE “…Weekes deserves our recognition not for making grand discoveries about the nature of anxiety. She deserves it for recognising the vast but often hidden suffering caused by “nerves”, for developing an accessible method for reducing it on a grand scale at a time when most treatment was one-to-one and ineffective, and for having the energy and determination to promote that method around the world.
“It is impossible to quantify the human suffering that Weekes’s work has alleviated, but major awards and honours are routinely given for scientific discoveries that have surely had far less benefit. Contributions of this kind — high in influence but low in prestige, because ‘popular’ — are often overlooked. In this fine book, Judith Hoare has rescued the legacy of a great Australian from that fate.”
“The Claire Weekes Approach to Anxiety” by Calm Clinic
QUOTE “Dr Claire Weekes, an Australian psychiatrist who lived between 1903 and 1990, had some revolutionary ideas about anxiety that are still noted today for being ahead of their time. The books she wrote on the nature of anxiety, which also included the details of the simple exercises she used to treat both her patients’ anxiety and her own, are still sold today”.
This blog post started off as a way to express my family’s gratitude for the work of Dr Claire Weekes and it may have ended up seeming like a product endorsement. Let me state that I am only commenting and not endorsing the books, the benefits or the quotations. YOU HAVE TO MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND AND SEEK HELP IF YOU NEED IT. LIKEWISE, OFFER HELP IF YOU SEE ANOTHER PERSON SUFFERING MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward
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