I recommend this book for anyone who suffers from depression, especially those who are taking any kind of depression medication.
By laying out the history of the treatment of mental disorders through the years, the author makes a pretty convincing case that folks are buying just as much snake oil today as they did back in the nineteenth century.
Only now, the FDA and the AMA seem to be endorsing it.
The author dissects most of the so-called facts behind the claimed efficacy of these drugs, and boy, have we been sold a bill of goods. Or bads.
It seems that most of the pills have little more effect than placebos like sugar pills. But sugar pills don't have horrendous side effects like suppressing your libido or making you commit suicide.
As for the various talking cures, no one is really more effective than another. But -- there is some therapy in the simple act of seeking therapy -- finding an empathetic professional to talk to.
Folks, as someone who has made a living -- or in recent years, tried to -- in the field of advertising, believe me when I say what it took me many years to admit to myself: the more they try to sell you something, the less you actually need it!
I will also confirm what any review of the help wanted ads will prove: the one area of advertising that has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years is health care, including pharmaceuticals. Deduce what you will!
The author includes some of his own experiences with mental health professionals in this book, which are equally enlightening. He also has a ready wit, a kind heart, and more clear-headed wisdom than most of the so-called professionals in his field, all of which he displays here, even in passages dense with chemical formulas.
I did deduct one star, because it felt as if there was a bit of redundancy in the book -- the author repeats many of the same arguments throughout.
Still I would strongly encourage anyone who is thinking of taking an anti-depressant to read this book first.
You may conclude that it is far more safe and effective to get on board Willie Nelson's bus than take prescription meds, especially if you use a vaporizer to eliminate dangerous tars when inhaling...
And for heaven's sake -- even if you have a spiffy new flat-screen TV that continues to work for longer than a year or two -- TURN IT OFF OCCASIONALLY! Read a book -- like this one...