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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb practical advice, 16 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Healing Without Freud or Prozac: Natural approaches to curing stress, anxiety and depression (Paperback)
I have suffered from depression for several years and was diagnosed with it this year following a visit to the GP which was a last resort for me as I've always wanted to avoid medication. I was put on anti-depressants for two weeks and then taken off them as apparently my depression had improved. (It was nothing to do with the drugs; I just had a lot of positive things happening in my life at that time.)

The medication did nothing for me except give me vivid dreams and the unpleasant side effect of having pins and needles in one hand constantly. I've heard that it takes longer than two weeks to appreciate the benefits of medication but my two week stint confirmed that I did not want to rely on drugs to make me feel better.

I purchased this book as the title 'Healing without Freud or Prozac' appealed to me greatly. I've never tried counselling or psychoanalysis so I can't vouch for their effectiveness but I was intrigued to learn about other methods of battling depression and anxiety without resorting to medication.

The methods for battling depression which the book covers include Heart coherence, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR); Light therapy (dawn simulation); Nutrition (Omega 3); Acupuncture; Exercise; Love (as a biological need) and being connected.

I had already heard of some of the methods such as Exercise and Omega 3 but I had never heard of dawn simulation or EMDR before and I didn't realise that Acupuncture could be used as a treatment for depression and all three of those are methods I am interested in trying, having read the book. Whilst I had heard of Acupuncture before, I didn't know a lot about it so that chapter was really interesting as were all the chapters.

I have read a lot of self-help books over the years and a common disappointment I have is that I will find a book which sounds really interesting with excellent potentially life-changing advice and then when I buy it and read it, it's just a major let down. Whilst it might have some interesting anecdotes and theories, I'm always left wondering 'How can I apply this to my life?' or 'How can I use this information to achieve tangible results in my life?'

This book does not fall short as the last chapter entitled 'Getting Started' is exactly that, a guide to get you started on using the methods disclosed within the book.

In addition to the aforementioned methods, there are two excellent chapters on communication with two mnemonics that I intend memorise straight away as they are so useful, particularly in my job as an advisor where I am dealing with people on a daily basis. One is for handling conflict and the other is related to listening. The listening one is excellent and I can identify the benefits of it straight away from my own experience as an advisor. Those two chapters alone are worth the price of the book.

On one final note, I have already tried exercise and I have exercised regularly for years and it does help to improve my mood a lot so I can personally vouch for that method. After I ran my first marathon, one of my friends was inspired to take up running and after he did, he no longer needed his anti-depressants as it lifted his mood so much. It's a great way to relieve stress and it makes you feel better physically and mentally. If you're overweight, losing weight will boost your confidence and self-esteem ten-fold.
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