85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2004
I would like to add my story to the other comments. I never thought that I was a highly sensitive person when I picked up this book, but I have been sick my entire life (migraines, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, etc. etc. etc.)and have tried just about everything to make my life less painful. I decided to try the primary flower essence of Yarrow, per Dr. Mesich's recommendation. Within 2 days I started noticing dramatic changes in my health. I mean, really bizarre and unexpected changes. For example, I have always suffered from night sweats, and they vanished. It was usually painful to take a shower and shampoo because my skin was too sensitive, and all of a sudden my skin no longer felt raw. I have always worn glacier sunglasses, because my eyes hurt, even on a cloudy day, and that symptom vanished also.
I purchased some more of the "protection" flower essences she recommends, and each worked in a different way, but they made my health even stronger, I had more energy, I had less headaches, etc. It was only after my health improved that I was able to notice my extreme sensitivity to certain things, such as noise, and negative people. I had been so ill most of the time, that I didn't know what my triggers were. My health had simply been overwhelmed.
I've made more physical progress in 3 months than in the last 20 years, and all because of this book. It would take pages to describe all the changes in my body and health that have happened, and are still happening.
If you or anyone you know is perpetually ill with one thing or another, ***get this book and try it***.
136 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2002
If you're a sensitive person with any sort of empathic experiences (picking up on other people's emotional states, sometimes so strongly that it's detrimental to your own peace of mind), you will be fascinated by this book-- as I was. There is no doubt in my mind that what Mesich describes is possible, because my own experiences are similar, though I'm not as vulnerable to other's emotions as she is. The idea that this empathic ability might contribute to recurring depression was a mind-blower to me, but immediately obvious once it was pointed out. It has completely shifted my own approach to dealing with depression, with very positive results (in the six weeks since I read it). *However*, if you share this book with your non-sensitive friends and family members, be prepared to endure skepticism and even ridicule. It's pretty "out there" for people who haven't had similar experiences. In fact, my only major objection to the book is that she writes as someone from "inside" the alternative medical field, without an objective standpoint to explain or defend her statements in a way that will stand up to those who by default, automatically dismiss anything not backed up by randomized double-blind studies with p of less than...whatever. :-) For people of this ilk, I'd recommend starting with one of Elaine Aron's books instead.
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2003
The biggest question sensitive people have is, why are they so sensitive, why do they react so differently to the world than the "average" person? In her book, The Sensitive Person's Survival Guide, Dr. Kyra Mesich effectively tackles that question, and also provides information for living with the empathic abilities that are inherent in all of us. Based on her own personal experiences of debilitating sensitivity while working as a psychologist, she discovered that visualization, meditation and flower essence therapy are crucial components in the development of positive sensitivity and empathy.
Dr. Mesich believes that sensitivity is an issue of our times; it touches all types of personalities, ages, economic levels--it crosses all boundaries, and is therefore confusing to psychologists and people in general. People who work as nurses, doctors, health practitioners, teachers, lawyers, counselors--all people who try to impact other people in a positive way--are especially susceptible to experiencing dysfunctional effects of empathy if they are not aware of the phenomenon. Additionally, emotional sensitivity is more often activated in situations with people who mirror our own emotional pain or psychological issues. By not understanding the nature of sensitivity, it can result in recurrent anxiety or depression.
This book, containing actual case examples of empathic children and adults, provides valuable insight and explanations for many people who have not yet discovered the source of their emotional pain. Various chapters focus on how to ease empathy so it does not feel painfully overwhelming, how to be more aware of empathic communication--which will prevent confusion with one's own emotions--and how to positively develop empathy for the useful information it can provide. This is a very readable book containing illuminating, useful, and, for many people, comforting and healing information.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2003
Emotional sensitivity is a baffling problem. I've often asked myself, "Why am I this way?" "Why do I get overwhelmed by emotions?" "Why do I get exhausted in busy, crowded places?" "Why does it hurt so much to be me?" This is the first book I have ever read that gave me an answer.
The author, who has a doctoral degree in psychology, explains that senstivity hurts so much because it is related to underlying empathic ability. She explains what this means in the book, but basically it's the ability to sense emotions in the world around you. She also discusses holistic remedies that have helped me a huge amount with my sensitivity.
The author obviously went out on a limb to present a radically different viewpoint than any other psychologist or doctor would even consider. A previous review lambasted this book because of its metaphysical nature. In my opinion, that review encapsulates EXACTLY WHY THIS BOOK NEEDS TO EXIST.
I spent my whole life feeling like something was wrong with me. Why was I so sensitive? Why did things bother me so much? No one ever had any answers. This book has answers. Yes, they are alternative, holistic, even metaphysical in nature...but that doesn't mean the book isn't correct and extremely helpful.
The subtitle of the book is "An Alternative Health Answer to Emotional Sensitivity & Depression." If you are close-minded to "alternative" ideas or metaphysical concepts, then this isn't the book for you. But if you are intrigued by holistic health and are open to new ways of thinking about yourself, then this book will change your life for the better!
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2006
Although I knew basically what the book would discuss, I was still surprised when I read it. It has a lot of really interesting ideas and very helpful tips and suggestions. This book is worth getting and keeping. I have already seen success in my daily life using the wisdom I gained from the book. It also is easy to read, has a personal tone, and plenty of good stories from the author's own life to illustrate points.
90 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2003
I'm writing this review because I felt the editorial and personal reviews of this book were not clear as to what this book was really about. This book is entirely mystical in nature. It is based on an assumption that all people are born psychic and have telepathic ability and that sensitive people who are depressed are really depressed because they are psychically picking up the negative emotions of other people. The author further believes these depressed people can protect themselves from these negative psychic energies by taking the flower essence 'yarrow.' (Flower essences are made by placing a flower in a solution, and then heavily diluting this solution which is then sold in small vials and drops are periodically taken). She also suggests meditations to calm and center followed by mediations to develop a psychic shield and then enhance this natural psychic ability. (The authors suggestions for the use of meditations to calm and center would be useful to anyone who is depressed or stressed, but such techniques can be found in greater detail and scope in many other books on meditation -see also books on relaxation techniques and Yoga as well as on Depression).
I have several gripes with the book. Even assuming telepathic ability is a real phenomenon (a very large assumption in itself), it is a stretch to assume all sensitive people are necessarily telepathic. A still further stretch to assume that depression is necessarily a result of uncontrolled telepathic reception of others negative emotions. Still more of a stretch to assume that flower essence will magically protect these people and permanently cure their depression (any more than a placebo). Most significantly I believe this book could be dangerous for someone who is severely depressed and places false hope in its premise - possibly to the exclusion of something that could actually help. I also believe it was inappropriate for the author to sell her book using her doctorate in psychology credentials when her theory has no basis in any psychological research. Further her title and brief description seem chosen to improperly capitalize on the similarly titled popular series by Elaine Aron. Even assuming you are (or think you might be) someone who is overwhelmed and depressed by the telepathically transmitted emotions of others, the book itself has little substantive information (beyond moral support) and in reading this review you have gleaned just about everything of substance in the book.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2003
Many people are aware of the symptoms of depression, and the prevailing strategies to alleviate these symptoms. We are constantly being urged to ask our doctor to prescribe anti-depression medication. But this perspective only reinforces the idea that depression is a liability to be suppressed.
Dr. Mesich offers a totally different perspective. Dr. Mesich has discovered that people who suffer from the symptoms of depression tend to be sensitive to the emotions of other people. In this book, Dr. Mesich challenges the reader to think of emotional sensitivity as a gift to be nurtured, and offers the reader several strategies to achieve this goal.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2007
I'm happy this book was of some help to others; however, it was not of much use to me. The author starts off with personal experiences of pain and illness that were very familiar to me. I thought I had found someone who understood, and even better, a treatment method that might actually work. Don't get me wrong, her theory that certain illnesses might be linked to empathy makes a great deal of sense to me. It's her recommended treatment, the use of flower essences, that seemed to fall short (again, I'm only speaking of myself; if it works for you, fantastic!) In my case, the flower essences made me so ill that I was forced to seek traditional medical attention. Also, her recommendation of meditation makes a great deal of sense - but don't put it off until after you've used the flower essences, as the author recommends. The sooner you can get a grip on your stress level, rampant emotions, and overactive empathy, the better.
With all due respect to the author and to the people she has helped, I cannot in good conscience recommend this book.
56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2001
The Sensitive Person's Survival Guide: An Alternative Health Answer To Emotional Sensitivity & Depression focuses on empathic ability, the ability to literally feel other people's emotional experiences and its role in recurrent depression, anxiety, and the painful aspects of emotional sensitivity to the denial and repression of the existence of psychic phenomena. With her articulate, "reader friendly" text, Kyra Mesich demystifies empathic ability while explaining the relationship between emotional sensitivity and psychic sensitivity. The Sensitive Person's Survival Guide is an original and compelling contribution to students of alternative medicine, metaphysical studies, and self-help reading lists.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2005
I have been doing a lot of research on Empathy and Intuition the past few years and requested this book due to its rating. I seem to show all the signs of being empathic but still can't quite figure out how to determine if I am, in fact, intuitive or just experiencing my own intense feelings.
I was looking for more clinical substance and "How To", since it is a "Survival Guide", than the personal backstory, generic & very brief case studies, and seemingly random & incomplete details about Flower Essences.