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I have bought several self help books and none of them really changed my life. At first I would buy the general self help books like "psycho-cybernetics", "The Power of the Subconscious mind", "Feel the fear and do it anyway", and "Think and Grow Rich". And I would try what they said but not with much effort or commitment and nothing noticeable would happen.

Then I started buying books about anxiety and depression. So far I have read "Painfully Shy: How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your life", "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David Burns, "Undoing Depression" by Richard O'connor, and I just finished reading "A Guide to Rational Living" by Albert Ellis.

At first I try doing some of the exercises in them but I don't do them consistently and when I do they don't seem to work very well. For example I did two exercises out of "The Feeling Good Handbook", one for procrastination and one for depression, and they didn't seem to help at all so I didn't try anymore.

So what I am wondering is: Should I keep buying self-help books and trying them? I am thinking about buying more of a workbook and really committing to doing the exercises.

Or should I just try traditional therapy and medication? I've been to a counselor and a psychologist about 2 or 3 times but they didn't really seem to help and it is really expensive.
 

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Beautiful Mess
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I believe book therapy has helped me . I have a good workbook called " Depressed and Anxious" and I also have one called " Overcoming anxiety and phobias" Both of these books have helped me.

I also have workbooks for DBT Skills ,etc.

I often refer back to them.

One of my favorite book is "Feeling Good: THe NEw Mood Therapy" By David Burns.

I refer back to that a lot.
 

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crazy
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I've read a lot of self help and psychology books over the years, but if they had exercises in them, I usually just marked them to do later and then 'forgot' about them. I think I just kind of hoped that reading about them and understanding myself more would help. But it didn't.

I just recently got Mind Over Mood though, which is a Cognitive Therapy workbook, where there's actually space for you to fill the stuff out as you read, so it's a lot easier to do the exercises.

I actually think this is actually a better way to learn Cognitive Therapy than with a therapist - my therapist 20 years ago at least presented it in a pretty fragmented way so I never really learned the techniques very well.

And I just got a workbook on Dialectical Behavior Therapy for anxiety and depression, which looks good also.
 

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Little Winged One
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I think it depends on how disciplined you are.
 

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I have bought several self help books and none of them really changed my life. At first I would buy the general self help books like "psycho-cybernetics", "The Power of the Subconscious mind", "Feel the fear and do it anyway", and "Think and Grow Rich". And I would try what they said but not with much effort or commitment and nothing noticeable would happen.

Then I started buying books about anxiety and depression. So far I have read "Painfully Shy: How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your life", "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David Burns, "Undoing Depression" by Richard O'connor, and I just finished reading "A Guide to Rational Living" by Albert Ellis.

At first I try doing some of the exercises in them but I don't do them consistently and when I do they don't seem to work very well. For example I did two exercises out of "The Feeling Good Handbook", one for procrastination and one for depression, and they didn't seem to help at all so I didn't try anymore.

So what I am wondering is: Should I keep buying self-help books and trying them? I am thinking about buying more of a workbook and really committing to doing the exercises.

Or should I just try traditional therapy and medication? I've been to a counselor and a psychologist about 2 or 3 times but they didn't really seem to help and it is really expensive.
self help books work but only if you consistantly apply the knowledge in them. you could be 50lb overweight and buy a book about diet and exercise but if all you do is read it then you'll continue to be 50lb over weight. if you apply the knowledge for one week and then stop then you'll still be overweight

knowing how to do something and actually doing it are 2 completely different things. take the famous book ''how to win friends and influence people'' for an example. just knowing how to win friends is useless when actually doing what is required to win friends goes against your nature

thats why i like to use thinkrightnow products. thinkrightnows ''win friends and ifluence people'' CD is basically taking the book ''win friends and influence people'' and installing it inside your head so that you act according to the knowledge instead of acquiring the knowledge but never acting upon it
 

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I think the biggest help I've gotten from books is finding out that I have a problem which millions of other people have also. When you first read a scientific description of your problems that fits you perfectly even though the person who wrote it obviously never met you it makes your heart melt to know your not a freak and have a problem that people know about and understand.
 

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I think the biggest help I've gotten from books is finding out that I have a problem which millions of other people have also. When you first read a scientific description of your problems that fits you perfectly even though the person who wrote it obviously never met you it makes your heart melt to know your not a freak and have a problem that people know about and understand
These are my exact words :)...I found abt SAS recently...reading abt these books made me feel part of human race!...I completely agree with LALoner.
 

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I had a self help book for weight loss once. I read it and thought "Ok, my life will change today!", and then the next day I went back to eating chocolate chip pancakes(although i did use sugar free syrup...)hmmm
 

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I have bought several self help books and none of them really changed my life. At first I would buy the general self help books like "psycho-cybernetics", "The Power of the Subconscious mind", "Feel the fear and do it anyway", and "Think and Grow Rich". And I would try what they said but not with much effort or commitment and nothing noticeable would happen.

Then I started buying books about anxiety and depression. So far I have read "Painfully Shy: How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your life", "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David Burns, "Undoing Depression" by Richard O'connor, and I just finished reading "A Guide to Rational Living" by Albert Ellis.

At first I try doing some of the exercises in them but I don't do them consistently and when I do they don't seem to work very well. For example I did two exercises out of "The Feeling Good Handbook", one for procrastination and one for depression, and they didn't seem to help at all so I didn't try anymore.

So what I am wondering is: Should I keep buying self-help books and trying them? I am thinking about buying more of a workbook and really committing to doing the exercises.

Or should I just try traditional therapy and medication? I've been to a counselor and a psychologist about 2 or 3 times but they didn't really seem to help and it is really expensive.
they work if you combine them with other things that are designed to transform you from the inside out

if on the inside you are are socially anxious then just conciously doing something that a book tells you to do will only last so long before whats on the inside starts taking over and dominating again.

if however you change whats on the inside and then do all of the things that the book tells you to do it will work
 

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i allways say:

When you listen to a self helf book (whatever kind), you just become more aware of your problems, and it also gives u possible solutions to those problems...
But at the end of the day you have to decide which descisions you want to make in order to chance your life
not only decide, but also get active
thats the hardest part
 

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I can tell you that, book will not change your life. What will acturally chage your life is your attitudes and activities. Don't rely on the book, try to chage your lifestyle!
 

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Sharon Shinwell
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The idea of most self-help books is in the title "self", you really do have to practise the exercises regularly and consistently. So a proactive period followed by a lethargic one will just take you back to square one, minus the cost of the book! The exercises are designed to change the way the thought (cognition) process works, but it does take time and dedication. Remember you're also having to 'unlearn' all those thoughts, feelings and responses that have been part of your life for so long at the same time as creating new ones, so hang in there with any of those work-books that actually ask you to fill stuff in, they can be an invaluable tool.
 

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The only one that I really like is "Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior". I started to like this other one called "Mindful Approach to Depression" or something like that but they said that daydreaming is bad and you shouldn't do it but if that's how it's gonna be I won't take their approach.
 

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Sharon Shinwell
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In the UK, the N.I.C.E guidelines (that doctors have to follow) for General Anxiety and Panic attacks is to offer bibliotherapy as a first intervention, which is reading books, completing works sheets, listening to tapes etc, if that doesn't help then they add CBT (either face-to-face or online) and/or medication. If any combination of two interventions doesn't help, the GP should refer you to a Mental Health Specialist. I guess this course of action supports the value of self-help using books, but it certainly doesn't work for everyone, nor does CBT!
 
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