(Review) Understanding Antidepressants by Wallace B. Mendelson M.D.

Understanding Antidepressants

Publisher and Publication Date: Independent published. March 2, 2018.
Genre: Nonfiction. Psychology. Depression. Antidepressants.
Pages: 123.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author, but was not required to leave a positive review.
Rating: Excellent.
Audience: Readers who want a better understanding of antidepressants.

Amazon
The ebook is free through Kindle Unlimited.
Amazon page for info in Wallace B. Mendelson M.D.

Dr. Mendelson is currently in the clinical practice of psychiatry. He was formerly Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Pharmacology, and director of the Sleep Research Laboratory, at the University of Chicago. Dr. Mendelson earned an MD degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and completed a residency in psychiatry there as well. He has held professorships at Ohio State University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, was Chief of the Section on Sleep Studies at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD, and Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Mendelson is a past president of the Sleep Research Society. Among his honors is the William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award from the American Sleep Disorders Association/American Academy of Sleep Medicine as well as a Special Award in Sleep and Psychiatry from the National Sleep Foundation, and he is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Mendelson has authored four books and numerous peer-reviewed papers on various aspects of sleep research and psychiatry. His website, describing his interests, a blog devoted to literature, as well as a downloadable curriculum vitae, can be found at: www.zhibit.org/WallaceMendelson.

Wallace B. Mendelson M.D.

Summary:
“About 16 million Americans experience a major depression each year, and at any given time about one in ten adults is taking antidepressants. There are many different ones, in what can seem like a bewildering variety. In this book, Dr. Mendelson makes sense of the many treatments for depression, and shows that understanding how antidepressants work can help in making better decisions.”

My Thoughts:
Recently, I reviewed a previous book written by Mendelson, Understanding Medicines for Anxiety. Both books have been eye-opening in understanding how these types of medications work. In understanding how a medication works that a patient has been prescribed, it makes the patient and family feel knowledgeable about what is happening; as well as a bit in control about the aspect of knowing what the medication will do and how it will be done. So often a physician will write a prescription and the patient will take the medication not knowing what happens after the pill is swallowed. I’m a person who wants to know!

Chapters:
•”How Drugs Work”
•”Antidepressants”
•”If Things Aren’t Getting Better”
•”Other Depressive Disorders”

Further reasons I love this book:
♦Explains how antidepressants are handled by the brain itself.
♦Other types of mood disorders are explained. Bi-polar is addressed in several areas of the book.
♦List of commonly used drugs for depression and dosages.
♦A history of antidepressants.
♦Types of antidepressant medications are explained, and their interactions with other medications, side effects, and overdose.
♦24 illustrations are included. This includes graphs and photographs.

(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.

 

(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.”