Summary of Preface and Introduction to The End of Worry: Why We Worry and How to Stop by Will Van der Hart and Rob Waller. Will is a pastor working in London and Rob is a Christian psychiatrist. Both are recovering worriers.
1. Everyone worries. Every kind of person worries, it’s just the degree and nature of the worry that differs from person to person.
2. The effects of worry. Worry has many damaging consequences, including anxiety, bodily tension, headaches, tiredness, irritability, insomnia, shame, broken relationships, absenteeism, reduced productivity, and so on.
3. Christians are ashamed of worrying. Their shame focuses on why they can’t seem to trust God or obey his commands not to worry; which in turn causes even more worry about their spiritual state. As a result it is often hidden from the church and even those closest to us.
4. Christians tend to see worry as an exclusively spiritual problem.
In only a very few instances have people expressed any awareness of the contribution of psychological factors. Christians tend to believe that the problem is purely spiritual – one of simple disobedience and lack of trust. It is no surprise then that they often feel too ashamed either to acknowledge that a problem exists or to seek help to overcome it. (Preface, xii)
5. Worry tends to be preoccupied with tomorrow. This is on contrast with depression which generally tends to be focused more on the past.
6. Severe worry, or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), is common. it affects 44 in every 1000 adults. Less severe forms of worry affect 164 per 1000 people.
7. GAD is more like background noise. Unlike panic attacks which are so obvious or phobias which are specific, GAD tends to be in the background not the foreground of our minds and is like a constant fog.
8. Worry can be reduced. This involves spiritual, physical, and psychological work. Just as a physiotherapist expects us to do numerous exercises to recover from injury, so we should expect to do various strengthening exercises to get out of worry.
The End of Worry: Why We Worry and How to Stop by Will Van der Hart and Rob Waller.