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Depression-free for Life: A Physician's All-Natural, 5-Step Plan Paperback – April 3, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 3, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060959657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060959654
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cousens, a psychiatrist and family therapist, and Mayell, former editor-in-chief of Natural Health magazine, offer a drug-free program for alleviating the symptoms of mild to chronic depression by treating the underlying physiological imbalances that are major factors in the disease. With a myriad of depression remedies on the market, from prescription drugs to herbs, and a rapidly increasing number of people seeking relief from depression, Cousens contends that his program incorporates the best of both conventional and holistic techniques. Cousens's five-step program aims to restore balance to disrupted biochemical processes by increasing the intake of mood-boosting amino acids, vitamin supplements and essential fatty acids and by creating a diet and lifestyle that promote physical and mental well-being. Cousens also discusses the reasons why women are more prone to depression, the limitations of antidepressants and how the suggestions in this book can help people break addictions, including alcoholism and related disorders (ADHD, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder). Anyone who has struggled with depression and found little relief with prescription drugs (Cousens reports that some studies indicate that people who receive no treatment fare as well as those who receive counseling and drugs) will find a lot to consider in this far-reaching look at what remains a debilitating element of many lives. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Cousens is a psychiatrist and holistic physician who founded and directs the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, AZ, which is dedicated to "the integration and renewal of body, mind, and spirit." Here he presents, in enormous and sometimes tedious detail, his "drug-free" regimen for treating depression. His premise is that all depressions are different, having multiple causes, including physical ones. He proposes an individualized five-step program for modulating brain neurochemistry in order to combat depression. This requires taking mood-enhancing amino acids, optimizing dietary supplements and essential fatty acids, eating a diet suitable for mental health, and living a lifestyle that includes exercise, a social network, a sense of humor, and relaxation. The information Cousens presents about depression, its causes and manifestations, and the need for dietary supplementation is plausible; however, it is questionable whether there is sufficient and compelling evidence in support of his program. Furthermore, customizing his directives for any given individual is complicated, and many consumers may find it difficult, if not impossible, to do so without a physician's supervision. Recommended for large alternative medicine collections.
-Linda M.G. Katz, Florence A. Moore Lib. of Medicine, MCP Hahnemann Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Gabriel Cousens is the author of seven internationally acclaimed books including Spiritual Nutrition and Creating Peace by Being Peace. Known worldwide as a spiritual teacher and the leading expert in live, plant-source nutrition, Dr. Cousens functions as a holistic physician, psychiatrist, family therapist, and cutting edge researcher on healing diabetes naturally.

He holds an M.D. from Columbia Medical School, a doctorate in homeopathy, and diplomas in Ayurveda, clinical acupuncture, and holistic medicine. His multi-cultural background as an ordained rabbi, an acknowledged yogi, and a four-year Native American sundancer, adds insight to his "whole-person enlightenment" teachings.

Dr. Cousens is the founder and director of the Tree of Life Foundation and the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, an innovative holistic retreat center for the renewal of body, mind, and spirit, based in Patagonia, Arizona. In his book, There Is A Cure For Diabetes, Dr. Cousens presents his rejuvenation center's program for reversing diabetes naturally.

Customer Reviews

Gabriel Cousens is brilliant, well-read, well-researched, thorough and easy to read.
Dr. Jennifer Lees
I got this book and after reading it went off the wellbutrin and started taking the amino acids and other supplements.
Kate of Michigan
I have just made some changes and look forward to seeing whether they were good ones.
Amazonette

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

153 of 155 people found the following review helpful By David Gottner on June 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Gabriel Cousens discusses his five-step program for treating depression -- without Prozac.
The book starts by defining depression and discussing the major types (such as major depression, manic depression, and some others), talks about how anti-depressant drugs such as prozac & MAO inhibitors work, then launches into Gabriel Cousens' five-step approach.
The fivefold approach is basically: <1> amino acid precursors are used to build up the brain chemistry, then <2> he adds vitamin/mineral supplements, <3> essential fatty acids, <4> dietary advice, and <5> lifestyle factors (touch, support, spiritual connection, counseling, etc.) By far, the main emphasis on the book is about the biochemistry of depression, as the last section on the lifestyle factors (<5>) is very brief in relation to the rest of the information in the book.
Along the way, there are checkpoints (that easily stand out, for reference) which you will need to determine which supplements will likely be the most effective for your style of depression.
Some of the stuff in this book is truly new material. The information on optimizing the diet for your specific metabolism (slow or fast oxidizer) is new, and since blood sugar is a major component in overcomming depression, it is very welcome. This is the most mainstream of Gabriel's books, so he does not spend any time going over the benefits of raw foods, and though he does suggest a mostly vegetarian diet, he does not stress it very heavily here. Nevertheless, the diet section has lots of vegan raw-food recipes that are used at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, for those who are interested in that lifestyle.
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74 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Mark T. Brody on June 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Many depression books throughout history have focused on your mindset, thoughts you think, and patterns of behavior. Not this one. Gabriel Cousens touched on something very interesting, which I totally agree with, having suffered from depression myself. The foods you choose to eat have a profound impact on your moods. Certain foods, eaten regularly enough could precipitate panic attacks, sleepiness, withdrawal, etc.
Gabriel breaks it down into two categories... fast and slow oxidizers, when speaking of the proper diet. There's a questionairre, which makes it very easy for you to discover which type you are.
There is also a section on nutrients for the brain, nervous system, and those that may elevated the mood. However, much like the diet, there are certain nutrients that will help certain kind of imbalances, and not others. Might sound complicated, but the information is thorough enough to make anyone understand it.
Last but not least, there are recommendations to help overcome self destructive behavior, negative thinking, and patterns of laziness.
All in all, quite an excellent book, most certainly one of the best I've ever read on depression. Sure, your depression problem may not be an imbalance due to improper food choices, but then again, it could be the ONLY problem, as it was for myself.
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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By lenore daguanno on June 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Reading this book and being treated by Dr. Cousens have been a blessing to me. After suffering from anxiety and depression for almost 10 years, I came upon this book and was intrigued with how natural it all seemed. After being treated by Dr. Cousens via phone consultations the past 8 months, I am convinced. THIS MAN IS A TRUE HEALER. With amino acid supplements, I can now sleep soundly and the anxiety is virtually GONE. This book has truly changed my life for the better and I want to spread the following message to the world: NO ONE SUFFERS FROM A "PROZAC" DEFICIENCY. If you're searching for a natural alternative to drugs, this is the way to go.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Moore on February 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book contains lots of info - especially about amino acids, vitamins and other supplements. It has a number of self tests to help you determine what deficiencies might be contributing to your depression. It could be organized a little better - you have to read the whole thing carefully to determine dosages and contraindications, etc. I stopped using my porescriptions anti-depressants and followed this book to a T and I feel better than I ever have before. I also used it with a friend when they were stopping drinking (alchoholic) with much success. Highly recommended.
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Amazonette on April 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was exceptionally helpful to me. It explains in a clear way the effects of different foods, nutritional supplements, drugs, and other factors on mood. After suffering from recurring depression and energy-level fluctuations, I had started reading all I could find about non-pharmaceutical alternatives to Prozac and other popular treatments.
This book seems to present the broadest range thus far of the alternatives with the most specific descriptions and explanations. It helps you look at your own biochemistry and points to possible directions for the causes of your depression and for eliminating them. It makes it easier to talk to your doctor and request the right kinds of tests to rule out other problems. It points out practical ways to depression-proof your life with custom changes that include nutritional supplements, diet, and lifestyle. I have just made some changes and look forward to seeing whether they were good ones.
For me, the most useful part was the detailed explanations of amino acids and nutritional supplements: what they are, when they are most helpful, their safety, and how to use them. Other related books I have read and liked tend to cover in depth only one area, such as diet and exercise, or vitamins and other supplements, or else they touch on many things but very superficially. This seems to cover a broad area in enough depth to make it useful. It also includes a formidable reference section for each chapter and a useful bibliography.
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