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A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives Hardcover – March 15, 2016
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From the Publisher
The Silent Tragedy in Health Care Today
By Kelly Brogan, M.D., Author of A Mind of Your Own.
A silent tragedy in the history of modern health care is happening right now in America, but no one is talking about it. We have been told a story of depression: that it is caused by a chemical imbalance and cured by a chemical fix—a prescription. More than 30 million of us take antidepressants, including one in seven women (one in four women in their forties and fifties). Millions more—maybe you—are tempted to try them to end chronic, unyielding distress, irritability, and feeling emotionally flat—trapped by an exhausting, unshakable inner agitation.
It is time to let go of this false narrative and take a fresh look at where science is leading us. Before you try an antidepressant, I implore you to read this book. And if you do currently take these drugs, then I have an important message for you, too. Let me give you a primer.
Believe it or not:
- In six decades, not a single study has proven that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
- The serotonin theory of depression is a myth that has been supported by the manipulation of data and an echo chamber of industry and media rhetoric.
- Depression is not a genetic disease. It is an epigenetic syndrome. In 2003, a study published in Science suggested that those with genetic variation in their serotonin transporter were three times more likely to be depressed. But six years later this idea was wiped out by a meta-analysis of 14,000 patients published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that denied such an association.
- Depression is often an inflammatory condition, a manifestation of irregularities in the body that can start far away from the brain and are not associated with the simplistic model of so-called 'chemical imbalances'.
- Depression is an opportunity. It is a sign for us to stop and figure out what's causing our imbalance.
The human body interacts in its environment with deep intelligence. Your body creates symptoms for a reason. We usually suppress these symptoms with medication, but that is like turning off the smoke alarm when you have a fire going on.
I get the allure of the quick fix cure via a drug. I used to believe in the magic pill. Then, after my residency and fellowship training, I took a sharp turn.
I have spent years voraciously researching to find better health solutions for women, hungry for the truth about what works and what doesn't. In my research and work with patients—people just like you—I've been analyzing data and connecting the dots.
First we have to ask why you are feeling the way you are feeling, and the sources of your symptoms may surprise you. It may be your food, your gut, your thyroid, or even your go-to pain reliever. I continue to be amazed at the power of the body to heal, after decades of abuse by our lifestyles, within time frames as short as thirty days.
My goal is to:
- Help you change the beliefs we've all been fed by a system that is not really focused on wellness, but on symptom suppression—and profit.
- Help you discover your body's innate ability to recalibrate, reset, and recharge so you can heal.
- Give you simple, highly practical steps in a comprehensive plan that activates your own healing power so you can start feel freer and healthier in thirty days or less.
Because you deserve to experience a mind of your own.
“A Mind of Your Own is must reading for everyone who has bought into the idea that drugs are the best answer to anxiety and depression. With the research to prove it Dr. Kelly Brogan lays out a path to help you reclaim your mind and your brain health.” (Christiane Northrup, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and Goddesses Never Age)
“A Mind of Your Own leverages the most forward-minded clinical research combined with a healthy dose of compassionate holism to bring forth a revolution in treating mood disorders. Dr. Brogan’s program is a soundly welcomed bright light in a world otherwise focused solely on pharmaceuticals.” (David Perlmutter, MD, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Grain Brain and Brain Maker)
“Bold, brilliant, and brimming with practical ideas and tools to end depression and anxiety without drugs, A Mind of Your Own is a tour de force that will change how you approach your health and mental wellbeing.” (Sara Gottfried MD, author of The Hormone Reset Diet and The Hormone Cure)
“Here’s a new prescription for thinking about depression and how to treat it: Heal the Body, and the Mind Will Follow. Brogan provides a clear review of the science behind that prescription, and how to fill it, challenging readers to open their minds to new possibilities in mental health.” (Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic)
“A Mind of Your Own is a perfect affirmation for how a person can take charge of her own mental health using Dr. Brogan’s program. Anyone reading this book will come away with a scientifically-based, safe, and effective approach to mental health without the use of drugs.” (Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D, FACN, author of The Disease Delusion)
From the Back Cover
Named one of the top health and wellness books for 2016 by MindBodyGreen
Depression is not a disease. It is a symptom.
Recent years have seen a shocking increase in antidepressant use the world over, with 1 in 4 women starting their day with medication. These drugs have steadily become the panacea for everything from grief, irritability, panic attacks, to insomnia, PMS, and stress. But the truth is, what women really need can’t be found at a pharmacy.
According to Dr. Kelly Brogan, antidepressants not only overpromise and underdeliver, but their use may permanently disable the body’s self-healing potential. We need a new paradigm: The best way to heal the mind is to heal the whole body.
In this groundbreaking, science-based and holistic approach, Dr. Brogan shatters the mythology conventional medicine has built around the causes and treatment of depression. Based on her expert interpretation of published medical findings, combined with years of experience from her clinical practice, Dr. Brogan illuminates the true cause of depression: it is not simply a chemical imbalance, but a lifestyle crisis that demands a reset. It is a signal that the interconnected systems in the body are out of balance – from blood sugar, to gut health, to thyroid function– and inflammation is at the root.
A Mind of Your Own offers an achievable, step-by-step 30-day action plan—including powerful dietary interventions, targeted nutrient support, detoxification, sleep, and stress reframing techniques—women can use to heal their bodies, alleviate inflammation, and feel like themselves again without a single prescription.
Bold, brave, and revolutionary, A Mind of Your Own takes readers on a journey of self-empowerment for radical transformation that goes far beyond symptom relief.
Top customer reviews
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I'd researched everything I could on alternative treatment for bipolar 1 disorder and done what I could for myself. Having had psychotic breaks even on medication, I knew I needed all of the help I could get. I had implemented and was aware of many of the things she discusses in her book, but never quite sure exactly what I needed. I waited for months to get into see her and it was truly one of the greatest blessings of my life to begin a doctor-patient relationship with her.
Her knowledge is only as good as your ability to try it out for yourself. It hasn't been easy to do all the things she recommends and I'm still working on these changes in my life. I'm gluten free, dairy free and still working on sugar free and eating less grains. I take coffee enemas and cannot emphasize how much they do for one's well being. I'm doing kundalini yoga 3 hours a week and exercising regularly. My vitamin D levels are finally normal and I even gave myself B12 shots. I take about 40 supplements a day. Is it easy to do all of this? Am I doing it perfectly? No and no, but I'm trying, I'm progressing. I feel calm, I feel stable and I feel like I can have a future without being medicated forever.
I'm sharing all of this publicly because if I can encourage one depressed, anxious or bipolar person to try her methods and to feel better, I would feel good about that. Do not go off of your medication without a doctor's supervision. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition, one could do her methods while on medication.
As for the people writing 1 star reviews because they do not agree with her stance on vaccines or believe that anti-depressants are the only answer. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Do you agree with every belief of your political party or your religion - have you ever disagreed with some information, but agreed with others? Have you found a vaccine administering doctor who will tell you something other than take a pill for your mental illness?
As someone who knows Dr. Brogan personally and trusts her with my own healthcare, I can say she deeply cares about the people she is writing this book for and her patients. She is one of the most warm and empathetic doctors I've ever seen. Baby step her suggestions if you have to, try a little bit at a time and see if they can help you to feel better. There is hope.
It has a lot of really good information, and I believe her sincerity and think her reasoning is mostly sound. I read it because I have suffered from on and off depression and anxiety over the years. I also have a low thyroid and struggle with my weight. I have recently weaned off of Zoloft, but I don't always feel emotionally in charge, and I am looking for some lifestyle interventions to help. This book DID provide some good suggestions that I am working on putting into practice, and so I give it 3 stars for that. However, the author's delivery of this information leaves a lot to be desired.
The first section of the book left me feeling hopeless, as she detailed all the ways we're totally screwed in today's world -- nutrient deficient food, agricultural chemicals, environmental toxins, the permanent brain changes associated with all sorts of things we're likely to have already done if we're reading this book... it was, well, depressing.
The second part of the book felt more proactive, and yet the farther I got into it, the less I liked it.
The reasonable stuff:
-Eliminating toxic household products makes sense to me, and is actually something I've gradually done over the past few years. We really don't need all that chemical junk that we're told we can't live without.
-The yoga and other exercise I can totally get on board with. It's interesting doing yoga with a 4 year old and 2 year old, but the laughs are an added bonus.
-The basic dietary guidelines seem mostly doable. Hard, but worth it if it works. Eliminate wheat, sugar, dairy, processed foods... it's basically Paleo but with more carbs, which I appreciate because low carb diets make me feel like utter crap.
The less reasonable stuff:
-The supplements she suggests get overwhelming. I can only imagine it would cost $100 a month or more just in the supplements she recommends, and you'd be popping pills 5x a day.
-The coffee enema... SERIOUSLY? I'm not supposed to drink it, but I'm supposed to pour it up my... say what? I guess I'm not desperate enough for that.
-The dietary nitty gritty... I don't know about you, but I don't have it in my budget to feed my family of 4 nothing but grass fed, organic, 100% whole food meals. I'd love to, don't get me wrong. I pick these options when I can. I grow as much of our own organic produce as I can. However, it's not feasible for us or most people I know to eliminate everything else. Her advice leaves no wiggle room for this issue, though. She doesn't express understanding that this can be a challenge for many people, and offer suggestions based on that. She also does not address families, and how to work with picky kids when implementing her diet. Yes, I am working on their eating choices, but I'm not sure it would be fair to my husband and kids to sweep through the kitchen and throw away everything not on her plan.
-She advises against all pharmaceutical and OTC medications. While I understand the reasoning behind it, it's not quite reasonable to assume someone shouldn't take a pain killer for a broken bone. She doesn't address what to do if you DO have to take medication for something. I'd like to hear her advice for recovering from pain killers and antibiotics after having to have a c-section, for example.
-Towards the end she says that even after doing all of this, you might not be able to ever get off of psychiatric medications. It's kind of a throw away line, but a significant one. I'd hate to see what would happen if someone spent the $$$ involved in doing all of her suggestions, put their whole being into it, and were still dependent on these drugs to function. THAT would be depressing.
It's also noteworthy that she does not mention traumas in life as another possible cause of depression, anxiety, or any other psychiatric condition. This is a big, glaring hole.
So... I would suggest you read this book with caution. Like I said, it has some useful information. I appreciate the science behind her suggestions, and like I said, I think her reasoning is sound. I think if we could all live like she suggests, we'd be a WHOLE lot better off. Modern diseases would probably cease to exist. But it's not quite practical to do in the modern world, at least not for someone with mild complaints such as myself. Perhaps for someone in a more desperate situation, it's all worth it, even the coffee enema.