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Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions Paperback – December 2, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[An] engrossing self-help guide.... Breggin conveys empathy and maintains a clear, conversational tone while spelling out his prescriptions for overriding destructive impulses in a variety of real-world situations.”
—Publishers Weekly

Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety is brilliant, clear, hopeful, inspiring, and rooted in science. It should be read by every person seeking freedom from painful emotions or trying to help others—no exceptions!”
 —ROBERT NIKKEL, MSW; former Oregon commissioner of mental health and addiction (2003–2008); member of the executive committee, Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

“A thoroughly original discussion of what Peter Breggin calls ‘negative legacy emotions,’ the leftovers from humanity’s evolutionary past that no longer serve adaptive functions. Breggin takes his readers on a step-by-step journey to help them replace these negative emotions with life-affirming attitudes that will enhance love and well-being. If you think that nothing new can be said about the human condition, read this book; it is filled with unique insights and procedures that can transform its readers, their lives, and their relationships. This is a work of breathtaking originality—and usefulness.”
—STANLEY KRIPPNER, PHD, coauthor of Personal Mythology, professor of psychology at Saybrook University, and winner of the 2013 American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to Humanistic Psychology

“A new theory on negative emotions lies in these pages. If you take it in, it will change both your life and your view of yourself and your relationships. Arising from Peter Breggin’s nearly eighty years of life experiences—scientific, clinical, and personal—this book culminates in a very personal reflection on the primacy of love and the possibility that every person can become a source of love. Provocative and even startling at times, it is beautiful, poetic, and inspiring.”
—DOUGLAS C. SMITH, MD, psychiatrist and clinic director, St. Anne's Center

“Breggin captures the essence of the human condition by intertwining wisdom, insight, empathy, and brilliance. A must-read....”
—JEANNE STOLZER, PHD, professor of child development at University of Nebraska–Kearney

“From the first page, I felt an emotional response that brought me to tears, knowing this is a book we all have been waiting for. It is for every one of us who have emotions we struggle with. It’s a great testament to humanity—a groundbreaking work in wisdom and conceived in love.”
—MICHAEL CORNWALL, PHD, Jungian/Laingian therapist, Esalen conference leader, and blogger for Mad in America

About the Author

Peter R. Breggin, MD, has for many decades led successful efforts to reform the mental health field and to promote empathic therapies. His scientific work has provided the foundation for modern criticism of psychiatric drugs and diagnoses. He has authored dozens of scientific articles and more than twenty books including the bestsellers Toxic Psychiatry (1991) and Talking Back to Prozac (1994, with Ginger Breggin) and more recently, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal (2013).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (December 2, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616141492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616141493
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I was privileged to read Dr. Peter Breggin's newest book Guilt, Shame and Anxiety, in manuscript form and found that the concept of the origins of these difficult emotions was a revelation, and the discussion and practical directions for alleviating guilt, shame and anxiety were really helpful! Experiencing shame and anxiety in my life have limited my ability to be present, calm and loving toward myself and toward others. What a relief to be able to move beyond these knee-jerk emotional reactions and to become more open, caring, and rational. Thank you, Dr. Breggin!
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Format: Paperback
Everyone can learn something from this marvelous book! Dr. Breggin thoroughly breaks down the causes of guilt, shame and anxiety and offers the solutions to end the negative ritual. I've bought five of these as gifts for friends and I'm sure will be ordering more soon.
Dr. Breggin not only helps, he heals! Thank you, Dr. Breggin!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Peter Breggin is a psychiatrist in private practive since 1968 who is highly critical of modern psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry and the prevalence in the last twenty years of doctors prescribing psychiatric medications for painful emotions like guilt, shame, and anxiety.
In this book he addresses the sources of these three negative emotions as a legacy of our evolution. I'm not much of a scientist so that argument didn't resonate much with me, but what did resonate with me was his assertion that abuse and trauma suffered in childhood contribute greatly to guilt, shame, and anxiety experienced in adulthood.
Prescribing psychiatric drugs to deal with emotions that are created by childhood abuse is not the best course of action according to Breggin. This is not a medical issue but an emotional, psychological, spiritual, and social one, best dealt with by empathic human interactions like therapy or other types of social support. *Note: Dr. Breggin is a proponent of withdrawing from psychiatric meds with professional help, as withdrawal can be a difficult and tricky proposition.
Breggin spends the last third of the book writing about a subject one might find surprising or even shocking to hear from a psychiatrist: love.
This book is a good educational tool for identifying and overcoming guilt, shame, and anxiety.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I find Dr. Breggin's work to be thorough and substantiated by actual research that should be part of every medical school curriculum. Why this information is not more mainstream is both disheartening and frightening. The human potential that is being wasted through ignorance perpetuated by marketing in the psychiatric drug industry is astronomical as will be the long term costs of health care for those who choose pharmacological solutions to psychological and social training issues. This is the opportunity cost physicians and patients are not fully weighing when they opt for short term symptom relief and crisis intervention. They're giving up the opportunity to permanently address the cause of the symptom, facilitate maturity and growth without inhibiting creativity and awareness that is required to fully work though issues and reach personal potential.
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This amazing little self-help book is a Titan in a tea-cup. It's author, Mr Breggin is one of my greatest living heroes and will go down in history as the "Conscience of Psychiatry." In short, Guilt, Shame and Anxiety are arcane, vestigial, utterly useless indulgences in misery. They cannot provoke good behavior and at long last, the evidence proves it! No criminal has ever been redeemed nor relationship saved by these base emotions which we share with all other mammals at the very least.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book is so helpful, life changing, and I yearn to underline with exclamation points and scribble names in the margins!!!! Many thanks for sharing your insights with the world! You have helped me more than you know!
RSZ
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Excellent book. Adds to the awareness of cognitive sources of these scourges. Fits in well with both Empathic Therapy and REBT/CBT.
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This book explains in an entertaining way why we evolved negative emotions. The author does not believe in prescription drugs and uses cognitive therapy along with other treatments to relieve guilt, shame and anxiety. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
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