Working your last good nerve

Friday Fiction: Summer Lovin'
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nerves1

Self Help for Your Nerves
Weekes
1962

My cohort in weeding, Holly, is famous for saying that “<insert name of annoying patron, family member, etc> is working my last good nerve.”  In fact, she says this at least once a day. I can’t wait to show her this book and all her annoying people problems can be solved. Even better it is available in large print so she doesn’t even have to strain her eyes to see the awesome advice like:

  • Willing away panic by “accepting” your condition.
  • You must face and correct your weak character traits as they are the cause of your problems.
  • Get your ears checked for wax build up since too much causes excessive “giddiness”.
  • Nausea from nerves (as opposed to regular nausea) should be treated with vitamins and milk.
  • You can cure yourself in lieu of shock treatments.

What becomes clear after reading only a few pages is the author is clearly defining conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, OCD and a host of other conditions. What truly concerns me is this book has been checked out quite a few times in the last 5 years. I am upset thinking how many people used this as guidance, and then I get mad at the staff that kept this on the shelf. Seriously, no one bothered to even walk to the stacks or run a shelf list of pub dates?  Now that does get on my nerves.

Mary

nerves 3

The Power Within You

Depression

Obsession

9 comments

  1. That cover certainly wouldn’t help anyone’s nerves! And the way they said that their advice would definitely cure you if you followed it must have left a lot of anxious people feeling worse when it didn’t cure them. (I’m sure most of them blamed themselves.)

    Yikes.

  2. According to Mom, there are two easy cures for depression. The first one is Shop Till You Drop. The second one is a jelly donut.

  3. Oh, no, no, no! Claire Weekes is an important figure in the history of anxiety and depression treatments, pioneering among the very first–and most influential–behaviorist approaches to mood disorders. “Floating through,” which is Weekes’s great insight, really does remain the cornerstone of cognitive behavioral therapy, and absolutely the first line of treatment for anxiety, depression, and OCD. Don’t be put off by her vocabularly, and keep in mind she was writing in the early 1960s, before the advent of SSRIs, when shock therapy was the first line treatment for depression. Her cure was, and remains, empowering, with her most famous book, “Hope and Help for your Nerves,” remaining in print, and widely endorsed by therapists. Really! See Wikipedia for references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claire_Weekes

  4. @JD: Maybe it was something big in its day, but the fact that it’s that old means it does not belong in a general circulation public library.

  5. I agree with JD. Claire Weeks continues to help people with panic disorder, depression and OCD, and is well-respected in the field. I would keep this, despite the awful avacado-optic cover.

  6. Maybe someone ought to send a copy of this book to Mrs. “Oh, my poor nerves” Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. It might do her some good.

  7. Ooh, this book will DEFINITELY cure serious mental problems, will it? (I’m sure reputable psychiatrists would love a book that would do that!)

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