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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 is written by Kelly Brogan,1 who is a psychiatrist. It’s a book focusing on women’s health, but what Brogan writes about depression and food is applicable to men as well. Brogan is a pragmatist, natural skeptic, and likes to think for herself.2 Part of Kelly Brogan’s motivation in writing the book is to help the reader develop a new watching, questioning eye.3 At the center of Brogan’s message is the relationship between the food we eat and our body and brain’s biochemistry.4

Kelly Brogan highlights the misinformation in industry-funded studies. The Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark estimates, for example, that the suicide rate among antidepressant users is some fifteen times higher than what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US reports publicly.5 The predominant theory behind antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) grew out of preliminary and largely inconsistent observations made in the 1950s and ’60s.6 Six decades of study have revealed conflicting, confusing, and inconclusive data.

There has never been a study that successfully links low serotonin with depression. On the contrarly, high serotonin appears to be a downer, not an upper.7  Antidepressants have repeatedly been shown in long-term studies to worsen the course of mental illness. Furthermore, antidepressants are more difficult to taper from than alcohol and opiates.8 If you think a pill can save or cure you, you’re dead wrong.9

Another example of misinformation is related to food. Since the 1950s we’ve been told that eating fat makes you fat. It all started with a misinterpretation of a manipulated study in 1958. Six countries were selected to show a correlation between the consumption of saturated fat and heart disease. There is no such correlation in the data from all twenty-two nations in the study. The shift from traditional fats to man-made low-fat substitutes has led to ever-escalating rates of chronic inflammatory diseases, including heart disease.10

The cost of data manipulation is the loss of true informed consent. Benefits are fabricated and the risks are covered. Always read the data, not the author’s conclusion. Meditation, sleep, and exercise can accomplish what pharmaceutical companies could only dream about. Also keep in mind that processed food is processed so that it is portable and shelf-stable. These goals do not overlap with yours.

When we disconnect from a sense of inner guidance, we are forced to rely on external constructs.11 Free your mind by cultivating your inner compass. Trust your guide inside.12 I liked the book, although the focus is on how women can reclaim their lives. As a man, I learned a lot too.

Notes:
1 Kelly Brogan, A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives (Thorsons, 2016).
2 Ibid., p. 2.
3 Ibid., pp. 15–16.
4 Ibid., p. 142.
5 Ibid., p. 36.
6 Joseph Schildkraut, a psychiatrist at Harvard, theorized broadly about the biochemical underpinnings of methal illnesses. See Ibid., pp. 45–46.
7 Ibid., p. 46.
8 Ibid..
9 Ibid., p. 3.
10 The study was done by Ancel Keys. See Ibid., pp. 120–121.
11 Ibid., p. 277.
12 Ibid., p. 279.

By Jan Höglund

I share my reading, book reviews, and learning in my blog.

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