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165 of 168 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2006
Like the other reviewers, i cannot praise this book enough. The effect it's had on me - more specifically, my mood - feels miraculous. It's premise is based on the theory that depression is caused by distorted thinking and if my experience is anything to go by, this is totally accurate. The author emphasises writing your thoughts down and he's absolutely right to do so. When i translated my thoughts on to paper, it was amazing to see how utterly negative, and frankly ridiculous, they sounded. Using the techniques the author explains, the reader - and writer - is able to dissect the thoughts and so arrive at a more realistic, and calmer, frame of mind.
Whatever your 'level' of depression i really believe this can be of help. Put it this way, if it worked for me it can work for anybody.
You may think the idea sounds simple, and one you can perform without the aid of a book. The insidious thing about depression, in my view, is that you often don't realise how bad you are and therefore don't enlist the help you need. This was certainly the case for me - i didn't realise how destructive my thoughts were until i analysed them.
I'm not exaggerating when i say this has transformed my mood - i feel like i've had a brain detox!
If you have depression, even if you think it's very mild, i'd recommend you read this book - what have you got to lose? On the other hand, you may have an awful lot to gain.
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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2005
Fantastic book. I bought this book after I has recovered from one of my many depressive episodes. I was determined NEVER to get depressed again and if I did know what to do about it. This book meet my needs and more. It alloed me to find out how depressed I was in the past (a few times I was serverly depressed) and it got me to see how some of my thinking was causing me to get depressed over again. It has questionaries for you to follow and an extensive section afterwards to expand on your questionare results.
It has now been over 5 years since I have not had a depression and I would say that this book has been to blame for that.
If you are depressed or could get depressed in the future then get this book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2004
I have struggled for many years trying to work out what the problem is, why do I always eventually foul up? Reading this book settled years of unclear, frustrated and bewildered thinking. Here's the good news, I am not ill in the sense that the matter is something beyond my control. As I always suspected my thinking past and present dictated the outcomes in my life. But I didn't know for sure, or how, or how to correct it. After reading this book I see the illogical way I think about myself, life and others and the inevitable effect and consequence this has. This book teaches me about the problem and then offers me an alternative way of understanding/thinking. If you feel hopeless then this book can give you logical enlightening hope. I have read and searched for 22 years and this book was recently recommended by my psychotherapist. It's the best I have come across. It's logical, realistic and believable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2008
What a gem of a book!

It includes self-assessment quizzes and written exercises, which I believe are the book's real strengths - writing down your thoughts and experiences from day to day really helps you keep track of how you're doing! :) So, this really isn't for people who want to be passive therapy subjects - user participation is an essential part of this book.

There are also basic CBT-based bits, like types of negative thought you should be looking out for and such (they're basically the same as any other CBT-based book, if you've had any prior experience with CBT as I have - I just skimmed over this little part of the book without any problems). There's also a generous helping of Burns' own (and really useful, I found) thought-healing CBT strategies, which make up most of the book. The amount of effort you put into applying these techniques is really important here - as with any CBT-based course or book, persistence is *key*. So you have to put your back into it too! :)

The third part of the book is all about drugs and medication for depression, which I guess would be really useful for those considering medication (or are already on it, or looking to switch medications).

Probably the best thing about this book is the fact that it addresses different constituent problems *within* depression, such as irritability or procrastination, so you can go back easily after finishing the book to remind yourself of certain bits :)

Overall, I highly recommend this! ^_^
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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 29 February 2008
When I first looked at Feeling Good by David Burns, I thought it was an excellent book. It's packed with practical ideas for improving mood and breaking out of depression. Unfortunately, when I tried to use the book's suggestions when actually depressed, I found them of little use. The theory behind the exercises is sound (as I know from successfully using CBT in other contexts) but the way the book is written and laid out does not seem to have the depressed reader in mind.

Burns clearly wanted to pack in as many helpful techniques as possible, but that is actually the book's failing. The reader is bombarded with things to do that are often not described in very much detail. When you are depressed, you may find it hard to concentrate, have trouble making decisions, get overwhelmed easily, and above all struggle to find energy and motivation. Feeling Good doesn't take any of these factors into account. I think if the book had presented fewer ideas and taken me through them step by step, it would have been helpful. Instead, I was left feeling as though I should be doing all these different things, I didn't know which one to try first, I wasn't quite sure how to go about some of them, and faced with the mountain of exercises, I gave up.

Judging from the other Amazon reviews, many people have found this book helpful. I would guess it's extremely good for milder depression, where you don't have so many of the issues I described above. If you're interested in CBT but more severely depressed, I'd recommend Mind Over Mood by Greenberger and Padesky instead. It's more of an introduction to CBT, but it takes you through everything slowly, with lots of blank worksheets to fill in, and the techniques described really do help.

If you do buy Feeling Good, treat yourself to a nice notebook and pen as well, and above all, pace yourself.
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82 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2005
Too many self help books have been written, and too many people have been disappointed by the limited effects. This one stands out from the crowd. The methods provided are very simple and very effective. This is a compassionate, but hardheaded no-nonsense book. I bought my book in 92 when I experienced a severe depression. My copy is worn out. Burns has a convincing personal style to his writing. The central idea of the book is that depression comes from distorted thinking. He presents a list of common distortions. Using simple tecniques, you learn how to lift your mood within minutes by talking back to your distorted thoughts. The book is written in a common sense style, accessible to everyone (This is the kind of book Frazier Cranes father could have written). Apart from the talking back part, you also learn how to find the deeper causes for certain self defeating attitudes. You don't have to be clinically depressed to find use for this book. It is also good for dealing with everyday disappointments.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2003
Before buying this book I had received both short term therapy and had tried anti depressant medications, but was still struggling to overcome depression.
I bought this book after it was recommended to me on a message board on the topic of depression, and have found it to be a book which was a real eye opener on the first reading, and which I have come back to many times since.
The book begins with a clear explanation of cognitive therapy, which explains that our feelings are not created by things that happen to us, but are the result of how we think about what happens in our lives. This means that we can each be in total control of our emotional lives because we can learn to be in control of our thought processes.
The book then goes on to explain what I felt were excellent practical steps on how to deal with a range of problems which can cause depression, including anger, guilt, procrastination and dependency. There are also plenty of case studies which helped me see how the ideas in the book related to my own life.
The real message of this book is that you can't change the world, but you can change the way you react to it. This may sound like obvious, common sense advice, but once you read the book, you realise how powerful this knowledge can be.
I found that although this book was not a substitute for seeing a therapist, it helped me understand my own problems to the point where I could use the time with my therapist more productively, as I already had a good idea about the areas I needed to work on. I would particularly recommend this book to people who are depressed but who are reluctant to go to their GP or see a counsellor. It will either help you solve your problems yourself, or help you come to the realisation that you need outside input.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2006
I've been suffering from depression for, God knows, how many long years. As soon as I started reading this book I immediately felt a great relief as if it was written specifically for me! I have read other books written by Dr. David Burns and have found them extremely useful but "Feeling Good: The New Method Therapy" has really hit the nail on the head. I think every depressed person can immediately identify himself with one of the patients described in this book and benefit from the solutions offered for his/her cure. It's amazing how effective Dr. Burns way-outs are and how simple it is to put them into action. I just feel much better one day after reading this book and thank heartily its author for having donated me a new way of seeing things to enjoy my life once again. God bless Dr. David Burns for being so wonderful.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 1999
I first encountered this book three years ago, after a traumatic personal event. I had been suffering from increasing depression for several years before that. This book changed me, in a way that counselling or medication never could. First, it made me see how it was my mind, and my mind only, that was creating my own personal hell. Second, it taught me numerous practical (largely written) exercises for turning my thought patterns around. I learnt how to view life positively. And the depression lifted, overnight. Sure, it comes back sometimes, my intrinsic personality would seem to be susceptible to depression. But this book has given me 100 % confidence that I can overcome such moods. And the result is that in the last three years, I haven't suffered from depression for more than a day. As I said, a life-saver. Heartfelt thanks to the author.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2001
I have just bought this book and have read a chapter on procastination ("Do-nothingness"). Burns suggest over 6 ways go combat it. I have been trying to motivate myself to go regularly to the gym so that I can loose weight. After reading the section on Do-NothingNess I was able to challenge my reason for not going to the gym and find practical motivating reasons for going to the gym. I am now visiting the gym 3-4 times a week. I was only just about going once a week.
I look forward to reading the other sections on selfworth, depression, diagnosing your mood, learn to talk back when you are under criticism, feeling angry, defeating guilt, coping with stress and strains of daily life, defeating hopelessness and suicuide, commonly prescribed anti depressants. Total of 700 pages and for just under £6 what a bargin!!!
Debs
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