Book Review: A Mind of Your Own

A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives

Kelly Brogan, MD, with Kristen Loberg
Harper, 2016

Review by John Chitty

A terrific new resource for holistic health enthusiasts, this should become required reading for anyone in the health care professions. The message is not really new but A Mind of Your Own offers excellent, comprehensive information in a succinct and up-to-date presentation.

The premise of the book is that modern medicine has missed the proverbial boat in understanding depression and other psychiatric disorders. The author, a psychiatrist specializing in women’s health, has scoured the research and found conclusive evidence indicating that the massive usage of pharmaceutical solutions is flat wrong.

One of the best parts of the book is the item-by-item explanation of the problems with each class of drugs. Very concisely (about one page per drug), she explains why not to use each substance; this material will come in very handy with clients. In addition to pharmaceuticals, she also gives the same super-focused explanation for why to avoid environmental toxins, indiscriminate vaccinations and a host of modern-day insults to healthy living.

I thought that a relatively weak area for Brogan is discussion of stress as a factor. I have no doubt that her recommended lifestyle changes are helpful remedies for anxiety/depression and related conditions, but she does not talk much about resolving the echoes of traumatic events. In my experience, the psychotherapy aspect is extremely valuable. Also, she seems to be unaware of new findings about the autonomic nervous system, using the century-old reciprocal action of sympathetic vs. parasympathetic (i.e., “fight/flight vs. rest/rebuild”) instead of the far more helpful and accurate triune model of Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory.

As many others have also done, Brogan blames institutional profiteering for how scientific research is routinely ignored at best and actively scorned at worst, in order to perpetuate global corporate bottom lines. She supports her position brilliantly with statistics, and this part will also be very helpful for therapists.

The book is very strong in giving clear recommendations for a corrective course of action. Dr. Brogan tells readers what she tells her patients. Her advice is very similar to the teaching of Polarity Therapy founder Dr. Randolph Stone with a basically Purifying diet initially, then a Health-Building diet for long term maintenance. The concepts are the similar, except that Stone was also an advocate of vegetarianism, more for ethical reasons than nutritional.

In sum, this book superbly captures a vast amount of information in clear, accessible language. If you know anyone using psychiatric pharmaceuticals or suffering from psychiatric/physical pain, this book is a must!

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