(Review) Understanding Medicines For Anxiety by Wallace B. Mendelson MD

Understanding Medications for Anxiety
Publisher and Publication Date: Independent published. June 24, 2019.
Genre: Psychology. Anxiety. Medications.
Pages: 120.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author, Wallace B. Mendelson, MD., but was not required to leave a favorable review.
Audience: Readers who want to understand medications used for anxiety and depression.
Rating: Excellent.

Amazon
The Kindle copy is free in the Kindle Unlimited program.

 

If you take medication for anxiety or depression. If you have a loved one who takes medication for anxiety or depression. I recommend this book to you!

Dr. Mendelson has a page on Amazon. He is a Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Chicago.

Summary:
Understanding Medicines For Anxiety is a brief educational study of anxiety and the medications used to treat it. In this book, Mendelson explains: the definition of anxiety, the list of medications, how the compounds work, adverse reactions, history of anxiety medicines, and other treatments used. The last chapter helps a person with anxiety decide a course of action. This includes questions to ask, how to create a plan, and goals.

My Thoughts:
Reasons why I gave Understanding Medicines For Anxiety an excellent review.
•A quick read that explains in terms that are understandable.
•The list of medications are given, how they work, and adverse reactions they may have.
•Medications used for one thing, but doctors have learned they treat something else. For example: Quetiapine is a antipsychotic drug that can also be used for anxiety or to help a person sleep.
•An explanation of the different types of anxiety disorders.
•Bold print in an easy to read type font size. I believe it is 12 point.
•Clinical studies are explained for medications.
•Medical marijuana and CBD use for anxiety. How they work, what studies show, and side effects.
•This book addresses anxiety, but depression is often included.
•20 black and white, and color illustrations are used.
•How the drug compound works in the brain.
•The history of drugs used for anxiety in the 19th and 20th centuries, and how they began to be abused.

Understanding Medicines For Anxiety is an excellent tool for a person who has anxiety or has a loved one with anxiety.

 

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(Review) Boundaries For Your Soul: How to Turn Your Overwhelming Thoughts and Feelings into Your Greatest Allies by Alison Cook, PhD, and Kimberly Miller, MTh, LMFT

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Publisher and Publication Date: Thomas Nelson. June 26, 2018.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Psychology. Boundaries. Emotions.
Pages: 256.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: Very Good.
Audience: Readers needing help with boundaries surrounding emotions.

Amazon

Boundaries For Your Soul has been written to help people have boundaries for their emotions and thinking. This speaks to the inner part or heart of a person. The thoughts running through the mind is often negative, and this book helps us to face those negative thoughts and have the Spirit of God work in them.

The book is divided into three parts holding 14 chapters:
Part One: Reimagining Your Soul
Part Two: The Five Steps of Taking a You-Turn
Part Three: Working With Challenging Emotions 

The later part of the book holds further helps:
Map of the Soul
Exercises: The Five Steps 
Glossary

I’ve read the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud twice.  Boundaries For Your Soul refers to the book by Cloud in their introduction. The authors of Boundaries For Your Soul wanted to write a book with the focus on inner thought boundaries. And, they refer to the Scripture Paul wrote in Romans 7:15, “For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” NASB. All humans wrestle with inner thoughts, but how do we win the war within? Cook and Miller in Boundaries For Your Soul teach that we must have God’s Spirit rebuild the inner place in our hearts that need help.

What I liked about the book:
•I’m encouraged to “embrace” the part of me that needs help. This does not mean to “embrace” a sin. We are to “turn towards” that area that needs help without criticism and rejection.
•Helpful and practical advice. For example: “The Five Steps of a U-Turn.” Page 42.
•Burdens. The negative thoughts that probably began as a child that have become apart of our thoughts patterns. For example: “I have to be responsible for everyone around me.” Page 96. This is a great chapter, because it helps with ways to combat those thoughts that have been with us since childhood.
•The anger problem. “Anger feels empowering in the moment but leads to feelings of guilt.” To befriend anger means we set a boundary around it and express it in a healthy way. Anger can be displayed without hurting someone.
•Practical ways to place boundaries around shame and guilt.
•Illustrations of people are given that address certain boundary issues like shame, anxiety, or sadness.

(Review) Glorious Weakness: Discovering God In All We Lack by Alia Joy

glorious joy

Publisher and Publication Date: Baker Books. April 2, 2019.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Psychology.
Pages: 240.
Source: I received a complimentary copy, but was not required to leave a positive review.
Rating: Excellent.
Audience: People who are ready to read a book on sorrow and life beyond it.

Amazon

Website for Alia Joy
About the author:
Alia Joy is a speaker, writer, and ragamuffin who weaves beauty through even the most broken stories. Her raw vulnerability and unique perspective make her a trusted voice writing about mental and physical illness, abuse, race, body image, poverty, and hope. She lives in Oregon with her family, where weakness and glory converge daily.

Summary: (From back cover)
As a girl, Alia Joy came face-to-face with weakness, poverty, and loss in ways that made her doubt God was good. There were times when she felt as if God had abandoned her. What she didn’t realize then was that God was always there, calling her to abandon herself.

In this deeply personal exploration of what it means to be “poor in spirit,” Joy challenges us to embrace true vulnerability and authenticity with God and with one another, showing how weakness does not disqualify us from inclusion in the kingdom of God–instead, it is our very invitation to enter in.

My Thoughts:
I’ve read several reviews on this book, and the consensus is the book is transparent, raw, and deeply felt by the reader. I agree.
One of the first things I noticed while reading the book is the strong word language. It literally punctuates the sentences with emotion. These words also hooked me in a bit further.
Alia Joy shares about her life, even the awkward experiences that are hard to express. In sharing this kind of information, there is a feeling of accessibility that is passed on to the reader, because at some point in her story, there is something the reader can relate to. For example, I do not have major depression, but my husband does. And, I do not know what it feels like to be different or stand out in a community of “different looking” people, but my daughter-in-law does. Sexual abuse, this is something I have experienced. In reading the story of Alia Joy, I have greater understanding and empathy.
Early in the book, Alia Joy expressed she didn’t “want to be that weak person.” Neither do I. I think most people feel the same way. Yet, isn’t it wonderful, a breath of fresh air, when a person states that? It is like every one in the room can let out that expectant air they’ve been holding and just relax.
Other subtopics in the book are on poverty, grace, stamina in faith, judgmental people, sorrow, marriage, and mission work.
Another book I’ve read by Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way, captures a similar topic that Glorious Weakness does. The poor in spirit. A place of weakness. Alia teaches that this is “where the treasure is buried.” Topics on weakness, suffering, and tragedy have become mainstream in the Christian book market. I am so glad. People need access to hard topics for education and healing.
Glorious Weakness is an excellent tool. It digs at the hard to talk about stuff. It shows me the beauty of God’s grace in the sorrow. It shows me I am not alone, but have kindred spirits who are walking the same dusty trail as me.

(Review) Healing the Scars of Childhood Abuse: Moving beyond the Past into a Healthy Future by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD, with Ann McMurray

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Publisher and Publication Date: Fleming H. Revell Company. August 2017.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Child abuse. Recovery.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: Excellent. Recommend.
Audience: Readers who are an abuse survivor or want to help understand an abuse survivor.

Amazon

Gregory L. Jantz is on Facebook if you want to follow his page for helpful posts.
Website for Gregory L. Jantz PhD

 

Early in the book, pages 20-21, defines child abuse. Jantz defines the “behaviors” and “also the effects of those behaviors.” What I found interesting is Jantz asks: what was our normal as a child? This question was enlightening given the fact I’ve heard people remark, “the only normal is the setting on a washing machine.” Is it possible that many people do not know what normal is? A normal behavior. A normal healthy functioning home life. A normal work environment. I bet many people would scratch their heads. The question Jantz asked is a perfect starter question for a small group studying this book!
One of the big things I look for in a book about psychology or recovery is am I learning something new? Does the book prick my mind about something I’ve not yet learned?
In Healing the Scars of Childhood Abuse, I respond with a big yes to the above questions.
A few of the things I learned are childhood abuse survivors feel like they are constantly preparing for war. And, survivors are quick to believe they are at fault. Survivors also assume “the worst” in situations. This is a form of protection. What I didn’t like reading is some of these patterns of survivors is essentially trying to control a situation by the response. For example: if I accept blame for something then it is an, “attempt to have some measure of control over the situation.” Page 43.
Chapter 6 is the “Emotional Cost of Childhood Abuse.” Some examples are “anxiety, flashbacks, dissociation, fear of failure, anger, and sexual avoidance.” Jantz ends this chapter with clarifying his intention is to help the survivor understand overcoming these behavior patterns are possible.
Chapter 7 examines additional patterns like “co-dependency and relationship addiction.”
An important factor in healing is to begin to really feel-do not live in numbness anymore. This is something I learned a few years ago. Live a life of mindfulness! Living in the moment and not in the past or in a fantasy world. Do not check out. Enjoy and be thankful for the present.
Chapter 9 is on “cognitive healing.” This is an important chapter in changing the ugly thought patterns of past words used against us that were lies.
Chapter 11 holds one of my favorite parts in the book: “Twelve Steps to Healthy Communication.”

(Review) The Cry Of The Soul: How Our Emotions Reveal Our Deepest Questions About God by Dr. Dan B. Allender and Dr. Tremper Longman III

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Publisher and Publication Date: 1994. Republished by NavPress in 2015. My copy is 1994 hardcover.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Psychology. Emotions.
Pages: 268.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: Excellent.

Amazon

I’ve read, Healing the Wounded Heart, and, To Be Told. Both of these books are by Dr. Dan Allender. I bought, The Cry Of The Soul from Amazon in their discount/used books section.

Inside the front cover explains, “Our dark emotions are much more than just uncomfortable feelings we struggle to control. They are windows into our heart. They are the cry of our soul.”

I did a little survey with people I know. I picked their brains about their “thinking.” I don’t remember the exact question, but their responses were similar: “I don’t like to think too much.” I wondered, “what is too much?” Is too much a teaspoon amount or a gallon bucket?”

On page 14, a statement similar to the above is about emotions and why we “avoid them.”

Part of understanding difficult emotions, however, is comprehending why we avoid them. The reason we don’t want to feel is that feeling exposes the tragedy of our world and the darkness of our hearts. No wonder we don’t want to feel: feelings expose the illusion that life is safe, good, and predictable.

People avoid deep thinking and difficult emotions.

On the other hand,

Excessive introspection can lead to a false sense of independence by giving us the illusion that we can exert control over our lives and become the masters of our fate. This path too easily leads to arrogance or confusion.
We encourage honest inward examination for the purpose of gaining wisdom-.” Page 17.

The focal Bible passages used in the book are from the Psalms.

This summer I’ve read several books on mental health. This binge is winding down. I have a few more to review and then I’ll be moving on. I do this every once in a while- read several books in a row on the same topic. This is usually in the summer when I have more time to spend on reading.

What I’ve taken away from this book, the number one idea, is emotions are not bad, they are beneficial and meant to be examined. I’m neither to ignore the emotion in stoicism, nor am I to focus excessively on them. Emotions are to be examined and processed. And, I am to bring the emotions before the throne of grace. God wants me to come to Him in transparency and humility.

Several interesting teaching points are in the book:
•Unrighteous anger. It interferes with satisfaction in life.
•Righteous anger. From page 76. “Righteous anger is called for when we see God’s glory violated.”
•From page 27. “God meets you in your weakness, not in your strength.” This is not what the world expects. The world expects strength.
•Shame. From page 199. “Our culture declares, “Shame arises because I am a victim and I feel bad about myself.” The Bible declares, “Shame arises because I am an idolater and I feel foolish when my idol topples.” I have a hard time with this statement. I’m not ready to say I disagree, but I don’t like it. I don’t like it because from where I am, shame has been experienced because of sexual abuse. I can understand the idol idea more because of the age I was (16-17), and the perpetrator was an abusive boyfriend. But what if I’d been 2. At the age of 2, I’d have no concept of what an idol is.

Over-all, I gave the book an excellent rating despite my one objection.