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The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression Through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom Paperback – January 3, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0743265072 ISBN-10: 0743265076 Edition: 1st

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Frequently Bought Together

The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression Through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom + The Chemistry of Calm: A Powerful, Drug-Free Plan to Quiet Your Fears and Overcome Your Anxiety + The Chemistry of Joy Workbook: Overcoming Depression Using the Best of Brain Science, Nutrition, and the Psychology of Mindfulness
Price for all three: $40.26

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside; 1 edition (January 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743265076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743265072
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Psychiatrist Emmons offers hope to sufferers of mild to severe depression in this well-articulated approach to integrating therapeutic techniques from East and West. Identifying three main forms of depression—anxious, agitated and sluggish—Emmons pinpoints three intellectual/physical/spiritual " types" these varieties of depression correspond with, and explains how the types mirror ones described in India's ayurvedic medicine and in Buddhist psychology. A student of Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are) and Deepak Chopra (Perfect Health), Emmons draws on their work in the fields of mindfulness meditation and mind-body medicine, respectively, to help readers find the most effective combination of diet, supplements, exercise and stress-relieving techniques. He provides personal stories to illustrate how brain chemistry and medication can alter behavior and mood and discusses how readers can evaluate their own need for medication. In later chapters, Emmons offers strategies for accessing inner strength and wisdom, once brain and body chemistry are balanced. While much has been written on complementary care for most conditions, readers battling depression will likely find Emmons's vision of healing informative and persuasive; others will find many practical ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle. (Jan. 3)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"The Chemistry of Joy is a valuable guide for anyone wishing to find greater exuberance and fulfillment in their life -- and who doesn't?"
-- Larry Dossey, M.D., author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things

"The Chemistry of Joy is simply the best book I know on depression. And I do not speak lightly, having battled this disease myself. Henry Emmons is not only a skilled physician -- he has the heart of a healer. May you find, as I have, that in the midst of depression's deadly darkness, his words offer light and life."
-- Parker J. Palmer, author of A Hidden Wholeness, Let Your Life Speak, and The Courage to Teach

"What a joy it is to read Dr. Henry Emmons's book, The Chemistry of Joy. If you're ready to overcome the pain of depression and really feel great again, then this book is for you."
-- Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., best-selling author of Meditation as Medicine and The Better Memory Kit

"What a thoughtful and caring road map out of depression. The Chemistry of Joy is a true gem of understanding that offers a beacon of hope for those wanting alternatives to medication. Emmons combines several powerful modalities and distills them into clear and useful tools."
-- Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D., author of Potatoes not Prozac and The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program

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Customer Reviews

This book literally changed my life.
Shirley Guppy
This is one of the most helpful books out there for treating depression.
C. Eric Bergh
I found it a well Informed and well researched book.
Steven J. Stadler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Talia Mana on November 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
At last! A doctor that differentiates between different types of depression...

Most doctors rate depression according to its severity. They may state that you are experiencing a major depressive episode or a mild depressive episode, or perhaps you have seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Dr Henry Emmons has a different approach. He classifies depression as follows:

Anxious Depression

Agitated Depression

Sluggish Depression

This is a potential break-through in diagnosis and the possibilities it offers for treatment. According to Emmons you may be a combination of the above three types but most likely show a preference to one type or another.

More significantly, each type of depression is attributed to an excess or deficit of chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain. Many people will already know that low levels of serotonin, otherwise known as the happiness brain chemical, can lead to depression and disrupted sleep patterns. However Emmons suggests that dopamine and norepinephrine also have a role in depression. This is not entirely new, however the attribution of specific types of depressions and tailored treatment is new.

Anxious Depression is characterised by low levels of serotonin and feelings of inadequacy and excessive worry, together with insomnia and potential carbohydrate cravings.

Agitated Depression is said to result from an excess of dopamine and norepinephrine resulting in restlessness, anger, irritability and digestive problems.

Sluggish Depression is characterised by increased sleep, withdrawal and passivity due to low levels of dopamine and norepinephrine.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Guppy on December 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Anyone looking to improve their lives should definetly take a look at this stuff. This book literally changed my life. Whether you suffer from mild or severe depression, the small suggestions offered in this book are priceless and very easy to follow (plus, they're fun to try).

I've spent years battling severe depression. I dropped out of college for a year, and recently ended up in the hospital with suicidal thoughts. I'm not sure if I would be here if I hadn't accidentally picked up this book. It was refreshing to find so many extra steps that I can take to improving my lifestyle, other than just medications and therapy. The book is easy to read and fascinating.
These practices have kept me on track in graduate school, and many people have told me I look better than I ever have (I'd bet everything that it has to do with my better diet and meditation practices). The book was just a start, but it's the only book I've ever seen that allows that kind of start. I've read extensively on depression, and I've never learned more than I learned in one little book.

Most of all, I feel better than I've felt since I was 16 (before the depression). This book has opened new doors for me and I feel well enough to take them all!!!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Grateful Reader on January 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Dr. Emmons' book is a great gift to people who suffer from depression as well as to their families and friends. It addresses an extremely complex problem with competence and clarity, warmth and compassion, and with great respect for the reader -- a remarkable accomplishment. I have suffered from mild depression. My spouse has had serious clinical depression. We have found Dr. Emmons' book to be a valuable reference to which we can turn for reliable information, both general and specific. Better yet, as we read this book, it almost felt as though Dr. Emmons was right there with us, offering not only wisdom and counsel but his gentle and healing presence of encouragement and hope as well. The combination of Western science and Eastern wisdom is a welcome contribution to the literature on depression and is presented in a very accessible way. I hope that the many people who suffer from depression, as well as those who treat them, will find their way to this superb resource.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kaia Svien on January 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a mindfulness meditation teacher and a spiritual mentor, I am keeping copies of The Chemistry of Joy in my office. I have already recommended the book to numerous friends and family members. Some of the highlights for me: 1) the gentle, clear way that Dr. Emmons reminds us readers that there are many doors to healing, that it is good to open the door that moves most easily for us first, and that it is often through making one or two adaptations on a number of levels that we begin to experience life as having more comfort to it; 2) the empowerment that comes from having this kind and seasoned psychiatrist steadily reminding us to believe in our deeper self; 3) the way desperation is allayed as one realizes that brain chemistry correlates with two ancient wisdom systems from other parts of the globe- ah, what a balm for the isolation that one can feel on this difficult journey to relieve depression.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By lyman on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Excellent book. A multi-disciplinary view of depression, it looks beyond drug and talk therapy without denying their importance. Emmons studied, practices, and writes about other approaches to depression, such as diet, supplements, exercise, Ayurvedic (historical Indian) medicine and the Buddhist psychological/emotional types. This provides a deeper and broader understanding and treatment of depression. A richly woven text.
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