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Roger Smith "Roger Smith, www.rsgbooks.com" (Lincolnshire, UK)
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Don't Upset Renee: The Discovery of Emotional Oppression
Don't Upset Renee: The Discovery of Emotional Oppression
by Michael Sylvester
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.95

5.0 out of 5 stars It seems we first need to recognize and acknowledge the existence of emotional oppression, 3 Dec. 2015
‘Don’t Upset Renee’ is very well written and makes fascinating reading. Michael takes us through chunks of his life in short chapters with intriguing chapter titles.

Several times, Michael’s recalling of events brought a tear to my eye, such as at his Dad’s funeral when his own son says, “Well done dad” – very moving.

I was not familiar with the term ‘emotional oppression’. Michael explains how this was something that affected him from an early age, how he coped, overcame adversities and came to better understand the source and impact of this oppression.

Having now briefly researched emotional oppression, what others have written seems to be largely about women suffering this, and this makes Michael’s writing all the more valuable. There are going to be literally millions of men suffering emotional oppression from their mothers, wives or others, yet as Michael eludes to late in his book there is no easy explanation for why there is so much of it.

Without being able to provide any logical explanation for the oppression, I believe most sufferers are at loss as to how to explain what has been happening and how it is affecting them. This, I believe leads to loneliness, especially as we men can be so poor at finding someone we can such difficult ideas with.

I was very keen to find out how Michael would sum up and share some key learning points in the last chapter. This chapter was a surprise to me, with its structure based on ‘Maslow’s Triangle’ whilst sharing how this is still so relevant, yet seeming in need of an update in view of how much the world has changed during Michael’s lifetime.

Overall, definitely 5 stars and a book I am keen to share with people I work with.
Stop Paddling/Start Sailing


Water Distiller with Glass Collection Bottle
Water Distiller with Glass Collection Bottle

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use. Does exactly what it is supposed to do., 13 April 2015
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Very pleased with this.


The Bubbler
The Bubbler
by Becky Shaw
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A great fun present for nephews , nieces, grandchildren..., 13 April 2015
This review is from: The Bubbler (Paperback)
Excellent! Okay so I am bias because I know the author, but it really is a great story that reminds us that almost anyone can do almost anything with a little help from our friends. It is clearly aimed at the younger reader (8 to 12 years old?) yet there is plenty of humour for kids of any age (like 4 to 100+). Illustrations are fantastic too, so well done Jonboy for creating these.
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Am I Bipolar or Waking Up?
Am I Bipolar or Waking Up?
by Sean Blackwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideas for avoiding bipolar diagnosis and living a life with purpose, 5 Mar. 2013
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After a powerful emotional experience Sean Blackwell was sure he was destined to be something other than a Canadian advertising man.

Sean describes a close shave with death that may have contributed to what many would have seen as a manic episode. The autobiography unfolds with many seemingly chance encounters leading to the start of Sean's new life in Brazil.

This is an exceptionally well-written and enjoyable autobiography. If you know of Sean's current work you will have a good idea how the book ends, yet Sean tells it as it happened with only vague insights into what the future would hold for him.

Reading about 'spiritual awakenings' and how young people are being 'stamped' with the bipolar label in North and South America, has got us (at Rethinking Health) wondering how often manic episodes would be better described as Emotional Awakenings.

Emotional Awakenings: It seems young people who are trying to live the life others expect of them can quite suddenly have a wave of extreme emotion accompanied by bizarre behaviour. Yet, with good support people come through this without a mental health diagnosis, without psychiatric drugs, and often with a new sense of purpose.

In this book we are reminded, "The number of American children and adolescents treated for bipolar disorder increased 40-fold from 1994 to 2003" - Benedict Carey 4th September 2007 - NY Times

'Am I Bipolar or Waking Up?' by Sean Blackwell is full of hope and needs to be read by every parent in the western world if the bipolar epidemic is to brought under control.

Roger Smith
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Emotional Health: What Emotions Are and How They Cause Social and Mental Diseases
Emotional Health: What Emotions Are and How They Cause Social and Mental Diseases
by Bob Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for everyone working in healthcare, 25 Jan. 2012
I found this book very useful. I have written notes throughout as there is much that I want to go back to.

As with all the best books that are sharing a lifetime's learning, the basic messages are simple. For me the main message is:

"TRUTH + TRUST + CONSENT >>> allows >>> LOVEABLE + SOCIABLE + NON-VIOLENT"

I have written this inside the front cover of my copy as it is what Dr Johnson has proved beyond doubt throughout his career. I can see how this can be applied to any and every individual, any group and to the whole of society/our world.

Some highlights for me include the first sentence of the foreword, "Emotions are the single most vital ingredient in all human affairs." - This is so true and yet most psychiatrists refuse to talk about anything emotional, which for patients is confusing to say the least.

Page 53 - I like the simple idea that illnesses often/usually become curable once the causes are known. It is the same for just about all physical illness and `mental illness'.

By half way through the link between `frozen terror' and addictive behaviour had become a lot clearer in my mind. It clearly explains how so many of us, when not addicted to drugs etc, become addicted to work. It is as if we are too frightened to stop and face our fears. As addictions go, they say that "work is better than whiskey" but sorting out what is causing our addictions has got to be better still.

Overall, the book left me with an increased strength in the belief that `mental illness' is an out of date expression as these troubles are all simply different degrees of emotional distress. I am responding to this by increasing the emphasis on emotions in the training I provide. The world is going to be a much better place for us all when more people are able to get help for difficult emotions before they start to be labelled as mentally ill.

It is well recognised that effectiveness in the real world depends on having a belief that we can make a difference. (This Stephen R Covey describes as the first habit of highly effective people. He says, "Be proactive".) Dr Johnson steers clear of simply stating that we have free will as that is always being disputed. Instead he presents a series of discussions to emphasise the diagnostic manual approach of ignoring the mind and treating the brain as simply a clockwork organ has never had any success in reducing the incidence of emotional distress. As a scientist I can understand the reasoning behind the strange idea of, `patients are incapable of decision making', but in the real world it is plain stupid. Patients invariably want to make decisions, and allowing patients to make decisions is a key factor in all recovery.

I found the first half of the book very powerful as there are many accounts from Dr Johnson's work in prisons. By describing extreme cases of emotional distressed linked with murder and life-sentences, the links between our own distress and our future emotions become clearer. It can leave no doubt that it is the events in our life we need to look to when considering how happy or sad we are and not anything that could possibly have been programmed before we were born.

There is a lot more in this book and I am sure I will be increasingly making use of the concepts I have read here.

Why would I mark this book as 4 out of 5? A tiny problem I had with the style was the number of words used that just were not in my vocabulary (about 30 in total). Yes, I was able to learn a few new words, by using a dictionary, but it did leave me wondering if the message could have been even clearer if a `less well educated' editor had been employed to kind of dumb the book down for the less academic reader. The other thing I did not like were brief mentions of thermodynamics towards the end of the book. I found these unnecessary and the misinterpretation of how thermodynamics works was disappointing, although I am guessing that non-scientists would not spot or would easily overlook this error

On the whole this is an exceptionally good book. A book everyone working in healthcare should make themselves familiar with.

Roger Smith
Mood and Recovery Researcher
Co-author of the Advance Statement Workbook: Easy to Use Step by Step Practical Guide, Create Your Own Advance Directives and Preferences


Advance Statements About Medical Treatment
Advance Statements About Medical Treatment
by British Medical Association
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Useful, 20 Jan. 2012
This was a very useful book when it first came out, although with changes in the law: Mental Health Capacity Act 2005 and Mental Health Act 2007, it could be time for this to be updated.

A more recent publication is the Advance Statements Workbook 2011.Advance Statement Workbook: Easy to Use Step by Step Practical Guide, Create Your Own Advance Directives and Preferences


Bipolar In Order: Looking at Depression, Mania, Hallucination, and Delusion From The Other Side
Bipolar In Order: Looking at Depression, Mania, Hallucination, and Delusion From The Other Side
by Tom Wootton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone working in the mental health field, 5 Jan. 2012
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I very much enjoyed reading `Bipolar In Order' and this is one of the books I now show to people when I am training `Understanding Mood and the Bipolar Diagnosis'.

My own journey has a lot in common with Wootton's approach of building a team and moving on with life without waiting for all troublesome feelings, thoughts etc to go away.

This book is a must for anyone working in the mental health field to understand just how differently it is possible to view mood disorder and how successfully difficulties can be overcome by someone with hope, determination and realism.

Roger Smith Stop Paddling/Start Sailing


Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
by Robert Whitaker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommending Anatomy of an Epidemic, 27 Oct. 2011
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Anatomy of an Epidemic is excellent. It is the best book of this type I have read. It confirms what many of us have believed about psychiatric drugs for a long time. I have been recommending this book to my students. Even for people who firmly believe the information supplied by drug companies this is still a must read book in order to understand the views of millions who have taken the drugs, experienced worsening symptoms and bad side-effects.

Prior to this book I found it difficult to explain why drugs that have never been shown to be beneficial are continuing to be prescribed. This book has made my life easier. I only need to say that the facts are explained in Anatomy of an Epidemic.

Robert Whitaker's style is excellent. It is a subject that can seem daunting yet he takes you on a journey from the first `energisers' of the 1950's to the more recent chemicals, which turn out to be surprisingly similar in action to the earliest ones.

One effect of the book is that I find I am now increasing being asked questions about coming off psychiatric medication. It makes sense to ask. Stopping quickly is almost always a bad idea, whereas finding a doctor you can work with is an excellent idea and then working with that doctor to find ways towards lower safer doses usually improves what you can achieve.
Mood Mapping: Plot your way to emotional health and happiness


First, Know What You Want - why goals don't work and how to make them
First, Know What You Want - why goals don't work and how to make them
by Andrew Halfacre
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed, 8 Aug. 2011
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This is the book I should have read years ago. There again it has only just been published and it has taken Andrew a long time figure all this out. If you've been on any of Andrew's business training courses you'll recognise some ideas. This is good - his courses are great and he has included many of the best bits.

I've used ideas from this book to help me focus on one thing at a time and finish projects that have been hanging around for years. I am less distracted and better able to avoid work that is of little value.

It caused me to wonder for the first time whether I really, really want and need to achieve things or if I most want to be a particular type of person, living a particular lifestyle. I certainly like the idea of being calmer, more reliable and more productive, which this book has helped with. Working through the book I have figured out that I am happiest when finishing worthwhile things, whether it be a research project, creating a web site, finishing a book chapter, installing a toilet or mending our roof. I had forgotten what it felt like to be finishing the next task before the good feeling of finishing the previous one had worn off.

Whether you are like me and need to be achieving to be happy or whether you find you most want to feel better and be getting on better with the people you care about there is a lot in this book for everyone.

Roger Smith


Winning at Entrepreneurship
Winning at Entrepreneurship
by Raj Gavurla
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful strategies for business owners, 9 May 2011
The sub-title, `Common-Sense Strategies for Business Owners' accurately describes this book. It contains masses of good advice for anyone starting up in business and for people like me, who have had their own business for a few years. Having been in business for a while, I found myself agreeing with so much that Raj says. At the same time, this stuff we gradually find out is well worth reading about as a reminder not to make the same mistakes again and to appreciate we are not as alone as we sometimes feel we are.

This is a book I will be recommending to associates who have their own businesses and to anyone about to start a business.

Roger Smith []

Mood Mapping: Plot your way to emotional health and happiness


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