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Take Control Of Your Life: Self Help For Depression, Anxiety Disorders, Confidence, Success & More Paperback – April 8, 2011
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Top customer reviews
I don't think this book was meant to replace "Managing Severe Depression," "The Migraine Brain," "When Darkness Comes," or any of the other books that delve into the dark recesses of the suffering experienced by those of us who have been through divorce, loss of children, had life-threatening diseases and surgeries, been hospitalized on suicide watch, and otherwise have hit rock bottom more than once.
I went from being young (didn't we all?), relatively healthy most of the time, hardworking, happily married, raising great kids, having a social life, and feeling good about my life and myself to being housebound most of the time, being unable to do even basic household chores, losing many of my friends, getting divorced, losing my career due to illness, and otherwise feeling miserable about myself and my life.
Therapy has rarely worked for me or anyone I've known. My daughter became a marriage and family counselor, only to learn it made her sick when her patients didn't get better. (She changed her life by opening a bakery.) Most self-help books claim to know it all, but fail to deliver. Friends (and people who read reviews) don't want to hear anything negative because they're looking for that magic book that's going to solve their problem of the week and want to believe the one they're checking out will save them from (fill in the blank).
This book really helps me. Over and over. I keep it on my Kindle and on my PC Kindle app. When things start to get really bad, I read through it. It reminds me of what I might need at the moment. It lets me know I'm not alone. It always brings me back to something closer to "normal," even though society no longer sees me that way.
If any of the other reviewers expects one short and simple book to cure all their (or anyone else's) ailments, they're just plain stupid. Yes, I said stupid, and we all know which pretentious know-it-all reviewer I'm talking about. This book is like a supportive friend who has some basic good advice. Nothing more, nothing less.
~The Rebecca Review
The one size fits all approach to addiction might help you quit smoking, but for most addicts, the addiction is a symptom, not the illness. If serious work does not occur to address the underlying cause, you are basically applying a band-aid to a serious wound. The approach is better than AA, which replaces one addiction with another, but it does not recognize it as a maladaptive coping mechanism.
The book itself is an easy read, however the use of commas is a bit random which can make the occasional sentence difficult to parse at first glance. Unless you have experience with serious mental illness- and most people don't- it offers some useful tips and tricks to try. If you are down in the dumps, the cognitive behavioral approach used in some parts of the book can be very effective. However, a book focusing on a cognitive behavioral approach might address this more in depth. I would strongly recommend REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) as the most effective at problem solving.
The main problem with this book lies in the apparent refusal to acknowledge that mental illness is not a homogenous subject. Two patients may present with the same symptoms but have very different causes for those symptoms. The degree of severity can vary widely, as well. These are distinctions to be ignored at your peril. Sometimes, over simplifying an illness can cause it to get much worse, as the patient tries and tries what he is told and gets no where. Because we are conditioned to trust "experts," it is easy for the patient to blame themselves when it is actually the approach that does not work on their specific problem. This can exacerbate the depression significantly, perhaps to the point of becoming life-threatening.
I have significant experience in dealing with mental illness issues in both outpatient and inpatient environments. In my experience, mental illness is a disorder that has a wide variety of causes and appropriate treatments. Cookie cutters just don't work.