Sunday, September 2, 2007

More helpful net sites and (Australian) phone numbers.

Beyondblue - Phone: 1300 224 636

Lifeline - www. - phone 13 11 14
Provides 24 hour phone counselling.

MoodGYM -
The Center for Mental Health Research at the ANU. Developing Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), for preventing depression.

BluePages -
Depression information site and on-line support, providing information on Symptoms, Treatments, Resources, Prevention, Searching and The Blueboard (Support Groups).

The International Society for Mental Health Online -

Helplines Australia

Kidshelpline Counselling Service - & - 188 551 800
Phone and online counselling service for people 5 to 25.

Relationships Australia - Phone - 1300 364 277
There's an on-line counselling service, available at -
Relationships Australia provide the following.
1) Individual, couple and family counselling.
2) On-line counselling, post separation services.
3) Family & workplace mediation.
4) Relationship and parenting courses.
5) Professional training & consultation.
6) Corporate/Business consultancy.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Two anxiety net sites - in Australia.

1) Anxiety Treatment Australia
This site provides information about anxiety disorders, treatment options, support groups, resources etc.

2) Shyness & Social Anxiety
This site (part of the above site), is directed towards Social Anxiety.

If you have any problems with these sites, with any other sites, or for questions & suggestions, please email me at - brianjones678 @

Thursday, August 2, 2007

9 sleep habits and 9 sleep rules.

9 sleep habits & 9 sleep rules.

1) Don't go to bed until you are drowsy.

2) Get up at approximately the same time each morning, including weekends. If you feel you must get up later on weekends, allow yourself a maximum of 1 hour later arising.

3) Don't take naps.

4) Don't drink alcohol later than 2 hours prior to bedtime.

5) Don't consume caffeine after about 4pm, or within 6 hours prior to bedtime. Learn all the foods, beverages and tablets that contain caffeine.

6) Don't smoke within several hours prior to your bedtime.

7) Exercise regularly. The best time to exercise is in the late afternoon. Avoid strenuous

physical exertion after 6pm.

8) Use common sense to make your sleep environment most conductive to sleep. Arrange for a comfortable temperature and minimum levels of sound, light and noise.

9) If you are accustomed to it, have a light carbohydrate snack before bedtime (eg: crackers, milk or cheese). Don't eat chocolate or large amounts of sugar. Avoid excessive fluids. If you awaken in the middle of the night, don't have a snack then or you may find that you begin to wake up habitually at that time feeling hungry.

Rule 1

Lie down with the intention of going to sleep only when you feel drowsy and ready for sleep.

Many insomnia sufferers go to bed before they are sleepy. If they had a hard time getting to sleep the night before, they probably feel tired and they reason they should get an earlier start on their sleep tonight. Sometimes these people spent 10 -12 hours in bed trying to get 8 hours of sleep. Let your body tell you when it is drowsy. If you go to bed when you are sleepy, you are more likely to go to sleep right away, reinforcing the association between bed and sleep. If you aren't sleepy, you might toss and turn, begin to think and get mentally and physically aroused. That would only reinforce the old habit patterns we are trying to eliminate. Remember being tired doesn't necessarily mean you are drowsy or ready for sleep.

Some people worry they won't get enough sleep if they follow this rule because the time they have to get up cannot change, due to work and schedule demands. But, by establishing a fixed time for getting up and allowing your bedtime to vary, your body can determine how much sleep you actually need in order to function well. Eventually your body will send you this message by getting sleepy when it's time for you to go to bed.

Rule 2

Get up at the same time every morning, regardless of how much sleep you got during the night or how rested you feel. Use an alarm clock to make sure that you accomplish this consistent wake-up time. It is important to permit your body to establish a regular body rhythm of peaks and lows. Sleeping in late on some mornings will accomplish much the same kind of effect that travelling across times zones does to your sleep patterns. Many poor sleepers use weekend mornings for trying to recapture some of the sleep they lost during the week. We will firstly discourage this practice because it only exacerbates problems with sleep. If you sleep in on weekend mornings you won't be ready to fall asleep at your usual time at night, setting the stage for insomnia for the rest of the week. If you feel that getting up at the same time on weekends is a special hardship for you, let's talk about it. I want you to try to follow this rule during the four weeks of treatment. If you continue to feel strongly about this point, once the active phase of the therapy has been completed, you can allow yourself up to a maximum of one hour later arising on Saturday and Sunday. Follow this same weekend rule for vacation days.

Rule 3

Don't take daytime naps. Most sleep experts are convinced that napping almost always disrupts the sleep arousal rhythm, making it harder to sleep at night. One reason for this disruption is that most people who do take naps do so some days but not others and take their naps at varying times each day. If you take naps you may also interfere with your body's natural ability to get the needed combination of all the different stages of sleep.

These proceedures described in the first three instructions will help your body to acquire a consistent sleep rhythm so that you feel drowsy an ready for sleep at about the same time each night and feel alert and ready to awaken at about the same time each morning.

Rule 4

Don't drink alcohol later than two hours before your bedtime. Although alcohol is a depressant,which if timed accurately may aid you to relax and fall asleep, it leads to restless, non-restorative sleep and the tendency to wake up during the night.

Rule 5

Don't drink caffeine later than six hours before bedtime. Caffeine is a powerful and long-lasting stimulant that interferes with the natural sleep cycle.

Rule 6

If you smoke, try not to smoke within several hours of your bedtime. Like caffeine, nicotine is a powerful stimulant.

Rule 7

Don't have vigorous exercise immediately prior to bedtime. Exercise stimulates that body and makes falling asleep soon afterward very difficult. Exercise just before bed doesn't tire us out, but had the paradoxical effect of waking us up. In fact, people who are drowsy and trying to stay awake to study often engage in physical exercise to wake themselves up. However, exercise in the late afternoon or early evening is a worthwhile pursuit and can be a good substitute for caffeine to ward off early evening drowsiness.

Rule 8

Set up your sleeping environment to make it conductive to sleep. Discuss light, temperature, mattresses, noise levels and other relevant facters.

Rule 9

If you are accustomed to it, you may have a light carbohydrate snack before bedtime.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Helpful Books.

Assertiveness – Alberti & Emmons

When perfect isn't good enough: Strategies for coping with perfectionism. M Antony & R Seinson (1998) Oakland: New Harbinger.

Mastering Stress: A new lifestyle approach. D Barlow & R Rapee (1997) Killara Australia: Lifestyle Press

The Relaxation Response – H Benson (1975) New York: William Morrow

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy – D Burns (1980) Melbourne, Australia Information Australia Group.

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook – M Davis, E Eshelman & M McKay (1995) Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

A New Guide to Rational Living – A Ellis & R Harper (1979) Hollywood CA: Wilshire Book Company.

Mind over Mood – D Greenberger & C Padesky (1995) New York: The Guildford Press.

The Assertive Option: Your Rights & Responsibilities – P Jakubowski & A Lange (1978) Champaign, ILL: Research Press Company.

Messages: The Communication Skills Book – M McKay, M Davis & P Fanning Oakland CA: New Harbinger.

Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem – M McKay & P Fanning (1987) Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Don't Panic! Overcoming Anxiety, Phobias and Tension – A Page (1993) Sydney, Australia: Gore Osment.

Overcoming Shyness & Social Phobia: A Step-by-step guide – R Rapee (1997) Killara, Australia: Lifestyle Press.

Managing Panic Disorder (Video) – R Rapee & L Lampe (1998) Available through Monkey See Productions (PO Box 3010 Waverley NSW 2024 Australia)

Beating the Blues – S Tanner & J Ball (1989) Sydney, Australia: Doubleday

Psycho Cybernetics – Maxwell Maltz

Shyness. What it is and what to do about it – Phillip Zimbardo

The Australian College of Recorded Education (ACRE) also have some helpful cassette tapes. Eg: Developing Confidence by Dr Lyn Barrow.


25 Market Street Wollongong

PO Box 450 Wollongong East NSW 2520 Australia

Phone: (Australia) 02 4228 7924

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Net-based discussion and chat group for anxiety.

There is a net-based discussion/email group, along with a chat group for people suffering from anxiety and similar conditions (eg: bipolar, PTSD etc).

To join this group and/or the chat group, please go to When this page loads, key in somebodylikeme (for the email group) or Somebodylikemechat (for the chat group).

That will take you to the page where it describes each group and from there you can sign up if you wish. If subscribing, you might care to take the daily digest as opposed to individual emails. This has the advantage of you receiving all 'posts' bundled up, rather than getting c 20 - 25 individual emails.

If you have any problems, please email me at brianjones678 @

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

2nd site offering downloads.

This is the site of the Sydney South West Area Health Service. The Mental Health Service is responsible for all public inpatient and community mental health service in their service area. It's target audience is the general public, people with a mental illness, their carers and other health professionals.

This site offers the following manuals and treatment guides for downloading, free in pdf format. Click on Consumer Information - on the left hand side of the page. This leads to the page with the following on it.

The What Is...series of brochures.
1) Anxiety
2) Bipolar
3) Depression
4) Eating Disorder
5) Panic Disorder Agoraphobia
6) Schizophrenia
Sourced from the Department of Health and Ageing.

Treatment Guidelines for Consumers and Carers.
1) Anorexia Nervosa
2) Bipolar
3) Depression
4) Schizophrenia
5) Self Harm
Sourced from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP).

If you have trouble downloading the above manuals/treatment guides, please email me at brianjones678 @

Australian phone numbers for help with anxiety.

Phone numbers in Sydney NSW Australia.

1) 02 9113 4444 The Intake and Assessment Service. Based at St. George Public Hospital at Kogarah. This is designed for people as a 'first contact' service, when they're experiencing anxiety or other disorders.

2) 02 9350 2384 The Acute Community Care Team. Also based at St. George Hospital, this is an emergency type number, for advice in a crisis.

3) 1300 300 180 24 hour service for NSW callers.

4) 1800 636 825 Referral service for mental health calls.

5) 000 In an Emergency call 000 and ask for an Ambulance, alternatively, present to the Emergency Department of the nearest Public Hospital.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Explanations of some conditions.

These descriptions are from The Anxiety Disorders Clinic at St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney. (Thank you!).

What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?
Although the details of treatment vary for different disorders, a number of features are common to most programs.

* Education about the nature and causes of anxiety and panic
* Techniques for managing the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic
* Techniques for managing anxious thoughts
* Graded exposure to previously feared or avoided situations

More detail about the different anxiety disorders and the structure of treatment programs is provided below.

Social Phobia
People with Social Phobia experience anxiety in a wide range of social situations, including talking to people in groups, talking to people in authority, meeting new people, and public speaking. The person with Social Phobia usually worries about appearing anxious, looking incompetent, or being seen to be inadequate in some way. Typically the person also worries that their physical symptoms of anxiety are visible (e.g. shaking, blushing, sweating) and that others will judge them harshly as a result.

The Social Phobia program is conducted in groups of 6 to 8 people and involves seven half-day (9am to 1pm) sessions over seven weeks, followed by one-month and three-month follow-ups.

Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia
Panic Disorder is characterised by intense overwhelming episodes of anxiety commonly referred to as panic attacks. During these attacks the person can experience a wide range of physical symptoms such as dizziness, pounding heart, breathlessness, sweating, shaking and nausea. The main feature of both Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia is a fear of these attacks, and a belief that during these attacks they are going to die, collapse, lose control or go crazy.Agoraphobia is also characterised by an avoidance of places and situations where panic attacks might occur.

The Panic Disorder program and the Agoraphobia program run for six and eight weeks, respectively, in groups of six to eight people. Both groups also have a follow-up session one month after treatment.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
People with OCD typically experience intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images or impulses which cause anxiety and distress (obsessions). These obsessions most commonly centre on themes of harm to oneself or others through contamination, negligence (e.g. forgetting to turn off the stove) or violence (e.g. images of killing a loved one).In response to these obsessions most sufferers develop compulsions which are designed to lessen their anxiety and prevent the dreaded event from occurring (e.g. washing, checking, counting and repeating actions or words).

The OCD treatment program involves ten to fifteen individual sessions, with additional follow-up sessions. Each session lasts 30 minutes to one hour.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder
People with GAD experience long-standing and excessive worry about day-to-day concerns such as family, finances, work or illness. The person finds these worries very difficult to control and fears that they may not be able to cope if something goes wrong. The worry leads to a number of physical symptoms of anxiety including muscle tension, irritability, tiredness, disturbed sleep or concentration, and an inability to relax.

The GAD treatment program is conducted in groups and involves nine half-day sessions over nine weeks, with a follow-up session one and six months after treatment.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder
People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder experience anxiety and distress about a particular aspect of their appearance which they believe to be abnormal or unattractive. As a result of these concerns they often repeatedly check their appearance, ask others for reassurance, seek surgical interventions or attempt to camouflage the area so that others will not notice.

The Clinic conducts Body Dysmorphic Disorder treatment programs individually with weekly sessions for 15 weeks, and a follow-up session one month after treatment.

Suggested Reading

* Marks, I.M. (1978). Living With Fear. London: McGraw Hill.
* Andrews, G., Creamer M., Crino, R., Hunt, C., Lampe, L. & Page, A. (2002). The Treatment of Anxiety Disorders. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
* Andrews, G. & Moran, C. (1988). Exposure treatment of agoraphobia with panic attacks: Are drugs essential? In I Hand and H-U Wittchen (Eds.), Panic and Phobias II. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, pp. 89-99.
* Mattick, R.P., Peters, L. & Clarke, J.C. (1989). Exposure and cognitive restructuring for social phobia. Behavior Therapy, 20, 3-23.
* The Quality Assurance Project. (1985). Treatment outlines for the management of (a) anxiety states and (b) obsessive compulsive disorders. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 19, 138-151, 240-253.
* March, J.S. (1990). The nosology of post traumatic stress disorder. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 4, 61-82.

Monday, July 2, 2007

CRUFAD & Treatment Manuals for Downloading.

CRUFAD - - is the Clinical Research Unit For Anxiety And Depression, based in Sydney, NSW, Australia. CRUFAD is a joint facility of St Vincent's Hospital Ltd and the University of New South Wales. The Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression, is a group of researchers and clinicians concerned with anxiety and depression. The WHO Collaborating Center is concerned with epidemiology and health policy and the UNSW School of Psychiatry, of which we are part, has strong research interests in anxiety and depression.

The following treatment manuals can be downloaded free and in pdf format. They explain the condition and offer treatment options. To access the manuals, go to When this site loads, click on Clinician Support on the right hand side. Then click on Free Manuals on the left hand side. Finally, click on the relevant treatment manual.

1) Panic (Anxiety) Disorder - 163kb.
2) Specific Phobias - 104kb.
3) Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - 147kb.
4) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - 55kb.
5) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - 16kb.
6) Social Phobia - 181kb.

If you have any trouble downloading any of these manuals, please email me at brianjones678 @


This is a site designed to give information on resources available on dealing with anxiety. It isn't designed to replace medical care, however is designed to allow people easier access to net-based resources and other resources.