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Understanding Stress Breakdown

Self published. New revised ed. n.d.
RRP $14.95

Reviewed by Rev Dr Marian Zaunbrecher, Associate General Secretary of the Queensland Synod

HAVING EXPERIENCED a long drawn out period of depression in my life I am attracted to any book offering me further insights into this condition.

Willkie’s book has been around since 1985. He has revised it and republished it taking into account today’s discoveries.
Willkie is a psychiatrist and has a wealth of experience. The stress produced by life today causes many of our bodies’ chemical processes to succumb.

His little book (I read it in an hour) is useful to help us understand how stress works to undermine our health and how to ascertain the warning signs. His use of various drugs is probably not helpful though to most lay people and I was put off by his reliance on Pavlov’s experiments and findings.

But I did love his emphasis on the need for sleep! Having been repeatedly told by well-meaning people that I needed to exercise and establish a routine for myself and not give in to hours of sleep often made me feel guilty. Willkie gives permission for the body to seek healing through being and not through doing. This can be liberating.

I am not an expert but I have been told that modern treatment of stress breakdown in the long term is three pronged, medication, bibliotheraphy(reading material), and cognitive therapy.

If suffering from stress break down see a professional, but if you or someone you know is suffering from this sickness reading this book – as well as the useful free book put out by Beyond Blue- will help one’s understanding and compassion.

The Christian is not a Stoic- we don’t have to grin and bear it, but the truth about depression can set us free.