In his newest book, Dr. Winfried Sedhoff focuses on teaching readers how to tame fears, including those posed by the COVID epidemic
Trained as a general practitioner in Australia, Sedhoff specializes in mental health care, a personal mission for him. Years ago, as a recent medical school graduate, he suffered severe depression that left him unable to begin his practice. After isolating for months, he developed a set of principles he now uses in his clinical practice to help others overcome similar depression and anxiety.
Sedhoff delineates three parts, or “stages” (with ten steps total) to getting your fears under control. These techniques can help readers understand what fear “wants” from them and develop skills to respond to it. They range from making reality checks when fear turns a headache into a possible brain tumor, for example, to creating a “worry book” for writing down your fears at set points throughout the day—then reviewing them later to help avoid anxieties from surfacing at random times.
The narrative is sprinkled with informative anecdotes, such as one in which patient “Melinda” suffered an anxiety attack during a social dinner that left her with ongoing anxiety that she would leave her child motherless. She learned to name her fear and resolved the anxiety.
The author’s approach to fears that focus on illness, dying and COVID requires reader involvement in written exercises. Those looking for specific techniques to combat COVID-related anxiety, however, will find the COVID chapter repeats many of the tools already discussed. And given the range of mental health issues included, the narrative has a disjointed flow at times, as it moves from topic to topic.
Nonetheless, the author’s calm, reassuring manner and real-life examples offer a beneficial starting point for those dealing with fear and anxiety, whether related to COVID or simply to ordinary life.
Also available as an ebook.