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Heal Your Brain: How the New Neuropsychiatry Can Help You Go from Better to Well Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0801898839 ISBN-10: 0801898838 Edition: 1st

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Heal Your Brain: How the New Neuropsychiatry Can Help You Go from Better to Well + Heal Your Mind, Rewire Your Brain: Applying the Exciting New Science of Brain Synchrony for Creativity, Peace and Presence + Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1 edition (February 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801898838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801898839
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Dr. Hellerstein's achievement is remarkable: he gives patients and their loved ones a clear and concise road map of the best that modern psychiatry has to offer, weaving the latest brain science with clinical wisdom. Not everyone will be lucky enough to have Dr. Hellerstein as their psychiatrist. The good news is that they can buy his book.

(Richard A. Friedman, M.D., Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director, Psychopharmacology Clinic, Weill Cornell Medical College)

By translating complex science, Dr. Hellerstein bridges the perilous gap between research and clinical treatment. He has written an informative and compassionate book.

(Andrew Solomon, National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)

Heal Your Brain is a lucid and practical guide to the brain and how it can go awry. The different but complementary perspectives of psychiatrist and researcher are presented in an engaging way by Dr. Hellerstein, who is both; this breadth of understanding serves the reader well.

(Kay Redfield Jamison, Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and author of An Unquiet Mind)

Engaging and understandable.

(The Mood Disorders Support Group)

Columbia University Psychiatrict David J. Hellerstein's fascinating book, Heal Your Brain: How the New Neuropsychiatry Can Help You Go from Better to Well, articulates and helps create a new watershed moment in psychiatric worldview.

(Bradley Lewis Psychotherapy Newsletter)

About the Author

David J. Hellerstein, M.D., is an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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This book describes how a modern psychiatrist approaches diagnosis and treatment of his patients.
J. Wells
Hellerstein does talk about neurotransmitters and receptors, but his discussion seems limited to the discussion of different medications used for treatment.
Jane Rosenthal
I'm not sure how a person is supposed to use the book other than read the whole thing, which looks too tedious.
The Curious

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jane Rosenthal VINE VOICE on September 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
To be honest, I wasn't quite sure what to expect in this book. I was looking for new ideas in treating depression and the title and brief description of the book piqued my interest. I occasionally feel mild depression, which could probably be better described as grief after the loss of several close family members and friends over the past few years. And I also feel a bit overwhelmed by the busy pace my life often takes, so I was hoping this book would give some new ideas for coping with these issues. Although Hellerstein makes numerous references to Old Psychiatry vs New Psychiatry throughout the book, I didn't see anything that was really new. I am currently a doctoral candidate in the field of educational psychology and have read extensively on the neurological bases of emotions and am surprised that this body of research was not included. Hellerstein does talk about neurotransmitters and receptors, but his discussion seems limited to the discussion of different medications used for treatment. Hellerstein's book might be improved by inclusion of some of the cutting edge research in the areas of neurological bases for emotion, empathy, memory, creativity and learning (for example, the work of V. Ramachandran or Antonio Damasio), which might be interesting to extend into Hellerstein's ideas.

The book has several positives. The discussion on medication options was very comprehensive and in contrast to some of the other reviewers, I liked the stories (case studies) Hellerstein included. I found them interesting and were very illustrative of the points Hellerstein was making. Overall, however, I thought the author didn't present much in the way of new neuroscience-based treatments (though I may have read more into the title than was intended).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kurt G. Schumacher VINE VOICE on September 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I went through a major depression episode about four years ago, and I did a lot of reading on the subject and learned a lot about brain chemistry. And I never liked chemistry very much! Most of the books were about why we get depressed, what happens when we get depressed, how our brain works (or not) when we're depressed, how being depressed affects our lives. I did eventually find a couple of books that were practical books on dealing with depression on a daily basis. I've listed them at the end of this review in case you're interested.

I learned a few new things from "Heal Your Brain". How depression and anxiety can physically affect the brain, causing parts of it to atrophy. That shouldn't be a surprise. Stress can have physical effects on muscles and other organs, so why should the brain be any different? But the bigger surprise is that certain things can cause parts of the brain to grow. Okay, wow. I've heard all my life that at a certain point, the brain just stops growing. In retrospect, that does seem a bit silly. Other parts of the body can heal and re-grow damaged area, so again, why not the brain?

This book is about the "New Neuropsychiatry" as seen through a number of case studies. None of them really matched my situation. They may not match yours either. But that's to be expected. Every case is different. Everyone has a unique combination of family history, experiences, body chemistry, and situations that have caused a problem. So don't expect to find an answer to *your* problem leaping off the page at you.

The case studies are a framework for the discussion of the causes of and treatments for anxiety, depression, and a number of other mental disorders.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mandy Payne TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is written for a non-psychology-professional. It offers some great techniques and exercises that have really begun to help me feel like I am rewiring some of the misfires that my brain makes without my awareness. The drawback to the book is that it is a bit long-winded with the stories. I would have been happier to have shorter anecdotes and more steps to healing the brain. I am happy other people have had some success and we do learn from that, but I prefer cliff notes! The goal is to heal. I have read enumerable books about recovery from severe physical and emotional abuse (thanks Dad). From many books I got nothing, from some I get a lot. But generally they fall about in the middle and I at best I walk away with one or two more skills in the arsenal to keep me happy and sane and most importantly, from inadvertently hurting the people around me.

The thing I look for is helpful ACTION that I can take. I already know WHY I have trust issues, depression issues, blah blah blah...what I want is a way to fix these things without spending years rehashing and giving more of my precious time on this planet to the evil abusers of an innocent child.

It won't immediately remove the need for anti-depressants, but I believe that there is sound advice in here to help someone improve their daily life with nearly immediate results. I am BETTER and I would love to finally reach WELL. Maybe this brings me a step closer...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James M. Miller on November 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In order to evaluate the validity of a point of view expressed by an advocate of a particular treatment approach, one needs to look at the incentives influencing the author. Columbia University receives large amounts of money from big drug companies and thus the idea that psychotropic drugs help heal the brain is suspect. He makes a good argument for drugs helping heal the brain, but does not present the opposing argument. Beware.
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