This post is not intended to degrade anyone or self-help. Authors and bloggers do their best to help, yet intention is not all that is needed to affect change.
When someone with an inordinate amount of anxiety comes to self-help material, two things usually happen, and neither of them fix the problem.
They simply replace one neuroticism with another, slightly healthier neuroticism — think someone who goes from being an alcoholic and unable to hold a job, to meditating and doing yoga five hours a day and still unable to hold a job.
Or they use the self-help material as another form of avoidance. Dating advice is a classic example here — I don’t know how to ask out the person I like on a date, so I’ll read four books about it and feel like I did something. Suddenly reading the books feels far more important than actually asking the person out.
The fact is that the majority of self-help information out there is either a placebo at best or complete bunk at worst.