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Before I start writing my review, I want to give a bit of a disclaimer. Please keep in mind that mental illness is a complicated topic. We all have different circumstances and experiences. I believe that we are all entitled to our own opinions and I’m only sharing my review of this book in the hopes of helping other women who may be going through what I am. I’m writing it from a loving place and I truly don’t mean to upset anyone! If you’d like to talk to me more about this topic, please feel free to contact me here. <3
What it’s about
A Mind of Your Own was written by a very well-educated psychiatrist, Dr. Kelly Brogan. Brogan was diagnosed with depression and she shares the interesting experience that led her to take a holistic approach to medicine. She shares tons of research, studies, and more supporting her belief that chronic depression and anxiety have more to do with our body than our mind.
She shares how the things we put in, on, and around our bodies affect our mental health and mess up the delicate ecosystem of our bodies. Brogan claims that depression isn’t a disease, it’s a symptom of a bigger problem(s) that we’re experiencing on the inside.
After sharing how the world has ended up more depressed and anxious than ever, she talks about all of the unpublished studies and research that show the truth about SSRIs: they cause way more harm than good. She also shares tons of helpful tips and advice on how we can take control of our minds and improve our mental health naturally. She even shares a 30-day plan on how to get started. The plan includes dietary changes, vitamins and supplements, detoxification, sleep adjustments, and stress management techniques.
Honestly? I feel like this was one of the most important and life-changing books I’ve ever read.
I quickly want to point out that I don’t think this book is helpful for EVERYONE suffering from depression. Sometimes we go through bouts of anxiety and depression when we’re going through difficult times in life, such as divorce or the loss of a loved one. This book is more for people who struggle with chronic mental health issues that won’t go away, even when things are good.
I’ve shared bits and pieces of my history with mental illness here before. One thing I’ve never come right out and said was my experience with medication.
I’ve been prescribed quite a few different SSRIs to deal with my anxiety and depression. Whenever I went to the doctor about my symptoms, they would just throw pills at me instead of doing any tests or trying to figure out WHY I felt the way I do. The pills never worked for me though, and they always left me with bad (sometimes scary) side effects.
These pills can do serious damage to people and some people actually lose their minds on them. Dr. Brogan shares a lot of information about the history of these pills, studies that have been done on them, and what they do to our bodies
Over the short term, those who take an antidepressant will likely see their symptoms lessen. They will see this as proof that the drugs work, as will their doctors. However, this short-term amelioration of symptoms is not markedly greater than what is seen in patients treated with a placebo, and this initial use also puts them onto a problematic long-term course.
Anyway, this book was full of TONS of information about mental health and how our physical health (specifically our gut health) plays such a major role in it. She talks about how food sensitivities, blood sugar imbalances, chemical exposures, thyroid dysfunction, nutrient deficiency, and harm to our gut bacteria can affect our mental health. Things that doctors don’t test for when you go to them complaining about anxiety or depression.
I never even knew most of this stuff, but it all makes sense when you think about it. For example, our bodies weren’t meant to handle all of the unnatural stuff we try to put in them such as artificial sweeteners, gluten, genetically modified foods, processed foods, chemicals, and more. Think about how the U.S. has such an enormous problem with mental illness, whereas countries that eat a more natural diet don’t have as many problems with it.
We think (because our doctors think) that we need to “cure” the brain, but in
realitywe need to look at the whole body’s ecosystem: intestinal health, hormonal interactions, the immune system and autoimmune disorders, blood sugar balance, and toxicant exposure.
I don’t think I can even cover all of the things in this book but it’s definitely worth a read. Dr. Brogan goes into great detail about all of the things that can affect our bodily systems and lead to depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia. She also lays out a lot of tips and advice that can help us get back on track. She even includes stories of some of the patients she’s helped actually cure their mental health problems. I can’t recommend this book enough!
I’m actually going to try to follow her plan for improving mental health and I’ll be sure to give an update once I’ve tried it for a while to let you all know how it worked for me!