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Eating, Drinking, Overthinking: The Toxic Triangle of Food, Alcohol, and Depression--and How Women Can Break Free Paperback – December 26, 2006


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Eating, Drinking, Overthinking: The Toxic Triangle of Food, Alcohol, and Depression--and How Women Can Break Free + Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life + Quiet Your Mind: An Easy-to-Use Guide to Ending Chronic Worry and Negative Thoughts and Living a Calmer Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805082603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805082609
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nolen-Hoeksema (Women Who Think Too Much) presents a theory that women who battle eating disorders, alcohol abuse and depression are really suffering from a single disorder for which she has coined the term "toxic triangle." The author claims to be among the first to recognize this (most experts, she says, choose one as the cause of the other two), but doesn't offer anything beyond her own observations as proof that this is true. The book's main strength is its excellent exploration of the impact of all three problems, individually and collectively, on women's lives. Eating disorders, alcohol abuse and depression affect women's relationships, careers, health and put them at risk for assault. Nolen-Hoeksema helps readers make sense of their past experiences and the genetic influences that can also make a difference, perhaps leading to a better understanding of their behavior. But she flounders between writing a clinical dissertation and penning a self-help book meant to guide readers to a solution. She constantly switches voices, speaking directly to the reader at some points and talking about the reader at others. Nolen-Hoeksema makes a provocative argument, but the book's lack of clinical research and cohesive narrative make it a tough sell. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for Women Who Think Too Much:
"Groundbreaking research… Women Who Think Too Much tells why overthinking occurs, why it hurts people and how to stop." -USA Today

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Susan Nolen-Hoeksema is Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. Her research focuses on depression and mood regulation. Prior to joining the faculty of Yale in 2004, she was a faculty member at University of Michigan and Stanford University. Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema has received three major teaching awards and numerous awards for her research on depression, mood regulation, and gender, including the David Shakow Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association, and the Leadership Award from the Committee on Women of the American Psychological Association. Her research has been funded by grants from private foundations and the National Institute on Mental Health. Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema has published over 100 research articles and a dozen books, including scholarly books, textbooks, and three books for the general public on women's mental health.

Customer Reviews

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See all 11 customer reviews
I love the fact that this book was written and done so well.
Lisa Angelettie
Great for moms trying to break the "negativity" of ancestral voices and model positive messages of empowerment for our daughters.
Amazon Customer
I highly recommend the book for those who think (over overthink) that they may have this affliction.
Craig D. Wilcox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Craig D. Wilcox on January 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When I saw that Susan Nolen-Hoeksema had a new book out, I had to take a look. Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema is well known to me from studying the biology and psychology of depression about ten years ago.

She has done research on "ruminative thinking", which she describes as "the tendency to respond to distress by focusing on the causes and consequences of your problems, without moving into active problem-solving." To put it more plainly-and less appetizingly-ruminative thinkers chew on thoughts excessively, like a cow chewing its cud.

Overthinking in this way can lead, in turn, to excess depression and anxiety. Then, to feel better, ruminators turn to food and alcohol. And then the process starts over, as overthinking about the overeating and drinking can occur.

Nolen-Hoeksema, along with a number of other eminent psychologists, has found that women suffer through this type of thinking at a much higher rate than men, which is at least partly responsible for women having double the rates of depression than men.

Since a lot of people are just getting over-or not getting over-the "holiday blues", I thought her book might provide particularly helpful advice for starting off the New Year. And after reading through the main premises of the book, I must say I was happy to have taken the time. Though the book is meant for women, it's also possible for men to suffer through this "toxic triangle" of eating, drinking, and overthinking, so I can recommend it to anyone who feels they may go through this damaging process, which puts tremendous strain on our bodies and can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and other disorders.

The most interesting piece of the puzzle for me is how overthinking can start a very physical stress process.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Angelettie on January 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I love the fact that this book was written and done so well. This subject is very dear to me - as I am a product of a family of women who suffered from this toxic triangle. The legacy was simply passed down from generation to generation. It was a hard thing to watch - and was a major reason why I chose to be a therapist.

What I love about this book is that it addresses the very issues that many women who suffer from "depression" rarely hear when they go for counseling or read the common depression literature out there. There is usually a combination of abuse - a deadly team of alcohol, food and despair. Not just despair. And they are all interrelated and play off of each other in the most horrible way.

Not one member of my family has yet been able to break free from this bermuda triangle. Its such a waste of time. Months, years, a whole lifetime will go by and you don't know where it went. If this is you - this book will serve as a valuable resource to direct you towards solutions. It's well done. Very thought out and chock full of valuable information. I highly recommend it.

Lisa, "GirlShrink"
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on July 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book not only because it was well-written, but because it seems to put these three disorders into perspective as they can be linked to one another. Obviously, not everyone gets trapped in the "toxic triangle" and each of the three disorders can exist on their own. However, for people who find they suffer from two or more, the book has much to offer. The author presents some psychological data along with personal stories and examples that help the reader to understand the interaction of eating, drinking and thinking too much. The begining chapters explain each of the three conditions and how they are detrimental to a person's well-being. The latter chapters deal with creating an action plan to help you "fight" your way out of the triangle and get on a path to healing. For me, it was a very insightful read (especially the chapters on Overthinking) and I highly recommend it to someone who may be suffering from any or all of these problems. It is a good starting point to think critically and understanding any or all of these three issues, but certainly does not provide the cure.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Deb on August 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In her highly readable book, Susan Nolen-Hoeksema illuminates the risks that render women especially vulnerable to the "toxic triangle" of binge eating/drinking and over-analyzing.

In their extreme attempts to please others and be who they think they "should" be, many women lose their voice and internalize their pain. In doing so, they are bombarded with self-loathing thoughts, and often turn to over-eating/drinking to temporarily escape the darkness that haunts them. The cycle feeds on itself, and these women lose not only their selves, but also any joy for living.

Susan's book explains the roots and consequences of this toxic trio of threats, and it also provides clear guidelines on how women can turn their vulnerabilities into strengths, and escape from the triangle. A useful read for patients and professionals alike, this book provides valuable tools for helping women crawl out of the depths of hopelessness and despair and into a life filled with authenticity, meaning, and healthy connections.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Toni on July 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Loved this book, I have not read the author's first book, but that did not present any problems. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema offers some very plausible reasons for overeating/drinking in women. Her theories make sense and while I know quite well that there is no "magic pill" for this problem, I feel the info she offers gives me some tools to understand the problem and how I can better help myself. My one criticism of the book would be that I don't recollect any suggestions that the reader supplement the book by working with a psychotherapist trained in women's disorders. For most women, this would be crucial to the healing process.
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