Monday, April 4, 2016

A Mind of Your Own

Any of my frequent readers know I struggle with anxiety and depression and currently, it's not so great. It's not as bad as it was but it's still not great. I'm really open to ideas other than medication to get better, so when I had the chance to review this, I jumped on board immediately.

A Mind of Your Own - Kelly Brogan, M.D.
Named one of the top health and wellness books for 2016 byMindBodyGreen

Depression is not a disease. It is a symptom.

Recent years have seen a shocking increase in antidepressant use the world over, with 1 in 4 women starting their day with medication. These drugs have steadily become the panacea for everything from grief, irritability, panic attacks, to insomnia, PMS, and stress.  But the truth is, what women really need can’t be found at a pharmacy.

According to Dr. Kelly Brogan, antidepressants not only overpromise and underdeliver, but their use may permanently disable the body’s self-healing potential. We need a new paradigm: The best way to heal the mind is to heal the whole body.

In this groundbreaking, science-based and holistic approach, Dr. Brogan shatters the mythology conventional medicine has built around the causes and treatment of depression. Based on her expert interpretation of published medical findings, combined with years of experience from her clinical practice, Dr. Brogan illuminates the true cause of depression: it is not simply a chemical imbalance, but a lifestyle crisis that demands a reset. It is a signal that the interconnected systems in the body are out of balance – from blood sugar, to gut health, to thyroid function– and inflammation is at the root.

A Mind of Your Own offers an achievable, step-by-step 30-day action plan—including powerful dietary interventions, targeted nutrient support, detoxification, sleep, and stress reframing techniques—women can use to heal their bodies, alleviate inflammation, and feel like themselves again without a single prescription.

Bold, brave, and revolutionary, A Mind of Your Own takes readers on a journey of self-empowerment for radical transformation that goes far beyond symptom relief.

I have to start by saying I am not a health nut. I am not that person who believes essential oils and mediation is going to help me. I'm far too impatient and not gullible enough for that. I'm just not. I really struggled with this book because it feels like it's coming almost from the anti-vaxxer group who will tell you that these things are going to ruin you and you're better off eating an apple or something. I should also note that I'm not that person who doesn't trust her doctors. Yes, I get incredibly frustrated at how over the top charged I am for things and how I sometimes feel like nobody is actually listening and processing what I'm saying but just going through the next step they know to do out of their medical book. Like a gut feeling means nothing anymore. I have found it to be incredibly frustrating to deal with doctors when you have depression because it can really go one of two ways: 1. They tell you that you're probably fine, try to relax and get more sleep, eat better and things will work out, or 2. They automatically fear for your safety and call you suicidal. 

Just because some days I don't want to be here doesn't mean I'm suicidal, folks. I'm responsible enough to not toss in the towel and jump off the bridge, I have real guilt over not being enough and that doesn't make me want to give up, instead I'm constantly trying to be more. 


I know that sleep, exercise, and good food will help me. But it doesn't do it all. It only gets me to a certain point and then I'm stuck and can't figure out what to do. I would really LOVE to get eight hours of solid sleep every night. I would. It is actually one of my old age perks that I'm looking forward to. Instead, I have three, soon to be four, children and a husband who snores so loudly neighbors can hear. It's not like I can kick him out, or move him to another room, I can hear him everywhere. I can't wear ear plugs because they hurt my ears. I feel like people dole out these suggestions to be helpful but they aren't practical and don't work. So as I'm reading this book I found myself getting angrier and angrier. 

Then you tell me to avoid body lotions and tap water. 

No, I'm not joking. 

Because if I could afford filtered water from the Swiss Alps, I absolutely would. I'm just grateful I'm not in Flint, Michigan with lead contaminated water at this point. 

I fully agree that a lot of people who have depression can really improve greatly by changing things in their daily lives such as diet, exercise, and sleep. 100%. Then I know some of the healthiest, physically fit people who are on the brink of suicide because they have a legitimate chemical imbalance in their brain yet refuse to take medication. I'm not even saying medication is that great, your options really are terrible and if you're lucky to find one that makes you not totally numb to even good feelings, you're doing well... until those lovely side effects kick in, of course. 

I could go on for days about this but I won't because you don't want to hear it. I have to give this book 2 out of 5 stars. Huge props to the medical information and how it's organized for this book. It's clear the writer is highly educated, has extensive experience, and is incredibly passionate about this topic. As someone who has struggled my entire life with anxiety and depression in varying degrees, I can tell you 100% this was not helpful for me. I am that person who refuses to take medication because I don't like how I feel on it and I hate having to be on something to be well, but I also recognize that a lot of the strategies in this book are things I have done for years and they do not help me. They could help you tremendously, but for me they only offer slight improvements and never for long term. But that's the thing with depression- no two people are the same. What works for one won't necessarily work for the next and that's what makes it complicated and tragic, really. 

I do recommend this as a read if you suffer from depression or know someone who does, if you are interested in alternative options other than what big pharma can, or just want to increase your healthy lifestyle in general. You don't have to have depression to find this book helpful, there is certainly a lot of information that carries over into other aspects of your life that could be beneficial for you. A Mind of Your Own can be found on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble


Ruth said...

Not one thing is the same for everyone. Some people have problems with vitamin deficiencies, sometimes it is something else. I have a problem with too much caffeine and sugar. They do a number on me.
I have tried anti-depressants and I don't like taking them. I hate meds anyway, but they change things for me that I don't like.
One of the biggest things I did besides making sure I didn't overdo on the sugar and caffeine was to relax on things. Tell myself that it was OK, not that big of a deal until I calmed down.
I used to think that I needed to do all these things, but I realized that it is OK if I don't.
And no, I am not saying that you just need to relax. It just isn't that easy at all. It took a long time to get where I am from how I was.
You do SO MUCH! Know it's OK to say no and it's fine to tell people what you need.
Men are not good with hints so you will spell it out for Matt. I do that with my husband. He has told me once to just tell him because he is not a mind reader.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Depression is such a difficult thing to make suggestions about, because as you say every person experiences it differently. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.