July 6, 2011

Please Explain "Anxiety" to Me! by Laurie Zelinger, PhD & Jordan Zelinger

Please Explain "Anxiety" To Me! is a early reader for children explaining simple biology and solutions pertaining to anxiety.

The book starts out with dinosaurs roaming the earth.  There were many hardships to overcome to survive if you are a dinosaur.  Things like the environment, food and predators can make a dinosaur worry.  Over time the dinosaur develop their "instincts" and their reactions to certain situations.

One of the reactions being discussed is anxiety.  The book describes how our Amygdala (a mig' da la), registers and remembers how we react in certain situations and later, when we need that specific feeling, the Amygdala brings it back up again and has us react as we do.

Sometimes our body tricks us and makes us think we are nervous, anxious or worried, when we're really not.  There is a "switch" inside each of us being controlled by the Amygdala which determines how we react.  When quick energy is needed for us to respond, this triggers our "Sympathetic Nervous System", which fuels us into action, sometimes having us do feats we would be unable to do otherwise.

The book suggests that we become friends with our inner psyche, reassure it when it gets overactive, remind it that you have been in this situation before and you will respond appropriately.  It also reminds you that you can talk to your parents, teacher, pastor, psychiatrist etc. to get the help you need to aid your anxiety fears. You can train your brain to react differently with simple techniques to help encourage it to respond with less indifference instead of over-reaction. 

I thought this book was a good early primer for your fussy/anxious child.  The simple story is enough for young children to grasp its meaning and perhaps get something from its message.  I liked how dinosaurs were introduced and all the problems that occurred to them in their every day lives.  I thought that the explanations for the anxiety was explained easily so that your young person can follow and understand.

I didn't think the graphics in the book were spectacular, they were simple enough in their depiction but lacked any "oomph" in their overall appearance, as well, the cover is nondescript and not very "eye-catching". 

I did like how they technical lingo of the psychology of the situation was explained well and simply.  I enjoyed the biology of the book via the explanation on how the amygdala and the body work together.  I didn't know that the amygdala stored so much information for later use, that was interesting to read.  I thought the reinforcement that comfort can be found in the fact that no one is alone in their thoughts and feelings and many of us have the same reactions, reminding children to be children and allowing the adults to look after their needs.

Overall, this would be a fairly decent book to help your young person understand their feelings, but I just thought there would have been more for the reader.  The suggestions at the back of the book just wasn't what I had expected, I wanted a bit more from this book and found it lacking just a little.  But as a 101 primer for the young, this book would be most excellent.  Keeping copies of this in centers for children with psychological difficulties or in doctors offices would be beneficial.

This book translates anxiety from the jargon of psychology into concrete experiences that children can relate to. Children and their parents will understand the biological and emotional components of anxiety responsible for the upsetting symptoms they experience. Please Explain Anxiety to Me gives accurate physiological information in child friendly language. A colorful dinosaur story explains the link between brain and body functioning, followed by practical therapeutic techniques that children can use to help themselves.

** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! ** 

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