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The Emotional Calendar: Understanding Seasonal Influences and Milestones to Become Happier, More Fulfilled, and in Control of Your Life by [Sharp, John R.]
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The Emotional Calendar: Understanding Seasonal Influences and Milestones to Become Happier, More Fulfilled, and in Control of Your Life Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Length: 289 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Psychiatrist Sharp, professor at Harvard and UCLA medical school, combines insights from clinical and social psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, and medicine to explore how seasonal factors affect our psychological lives. He successfully describes such phenomena as seasonable adjustment disorder and offers many intriguing facts--for example, he notes that summer is the season when people feel most free, yet also the time of the most suicides. Unfortunately, Sharp attempts to cover too many topics, which often leads to meandering digressions--as in a section on "seasonal creep" in sports. Other times he states the obvious: regarding Valentine's Day, he writes, "for those in relationships, it can be a time of heightened expectations... while people without significant others face feelings of loneliness." Sharp also skimps on describing coping strategies, often offering little more than a paragraph on each of his recommendations. Sharp's book concludes with sections on medications and natural remedies for anxiety and depression, and a cheery chapter on "seasonal embrace." Readers may glean something helpful from the scientific and anecdotal material, but too much of this book is psych lite. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

For years, doctors have treated patients for seasonal affective disorder (SAD)—depression that occurs at the same time each year but usually in the sun-deprived fall and winter, and that affects four to ten percent of Americans. In this conversational, case-study-filled guide, Sharp, a medical doctor, elaborates on how time of year, weather, holidays, and even sports seasons influence mood. The book is surprisingly easy to read, given that it is heavy on obvious information and light on hard-core medicine, a surprise since Sharp is a neuropsychiatrist at Harvard and UCLA. Sharp credits his “team of researchers and editors,” whom one suspects played a very big role in this title. Readers who dislike anonymous sources will be displeased. As Sharp notes, he and his team change the names and identifying details about the patients and “most of the other interviewees.” Still, this book would be a helpful resource for people who want to know more about why the calendar affects mood. --Karen Springen

Product Details

  • File Size: 726 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books; Reprint edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Publication Date: January 4, 2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00447828C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,345,899 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When the New Year makes its entrance, it can be a very stressful time. During the final leg of the holiday season, many people self-medicate their anxieties with alcohol, food, or drugs. The idea of taking stock of the previous twelve months can send people into psychological overdrive.

It doesn't have to be that way. Dr. John R. Sharp, a psychiatrist on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, has delved into how the overlap between seasonal, cultural, and personal factors can impact us emotionally. He presents these instructive insights in his new book "The Emotional Calendar."

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year's fits into what Sharp describes as a staple of the American "cultural calendar," which can be the catalyst for "emotional disruption." These "hot spots" often overlap with an individual's personal "emotional calendar," which is comprised of birthdays, anniversaries, deaths, and remembrances of high and low points. For adults, memories--both positive and negative-- become "triggers," something that causes "feelings from the past to emerge." Grown-ups have experienced losses and disappointments, and therefore have a repository of associative memories to reflect upon. Many of these are rich in the "triggers' that can set us off. Recognizing and understanding these reactions can lead to increased self-awareness.

It is important to look at your personal experiences, and examine how they have conditioned your emotional responses. One person's beautiful blanket of pristine snow can prompt another individual to remember a broken arm suffered in the aftermath of a treacherous blizzard. Sharp explains, "The mindset doesn't have to be set in stone." We shape our brain connections through experiences that become "neurally encoded.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A miscellany of anecdotes and factoids about human reactions to weather, environment, and time of year that strikes me at least as being little elevated above common sense or common knowledge. If it offered serious or innovative advice about how we might deal with these variables in our lives, it might have been a worthwhile effort to read it, but as it is, I can't recommend it. A talk with your doctor or a look on the internet would be more productive.
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Format: Hardcover
Although I found bits of this book to be of interest, through much of the rest I was continually reminded of good workbooks I've used and seen over the years... and this book would be transformed with such a format. A better title might have been "Your Emotional Calendar," reflecting the reality that individuals can experience very personalized emotional seasons and cycles related to life-stages and eras rather than the daily and monthly pace of our common calendar. A guided format on DVD or CD would be much more practical for those needing to work out their own seasons of personal development and to grow in harmony.
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