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Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression Paperback – May 27 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (May 27 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143115510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143115519
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.6 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A practical, proven guide . . . Superb."
-Mehmet Oz, M.D., author of the YOU guides


" Extraordinary. . . . Both therapist and patient will benefit hugely from reading this book."
-Deepak Chopra

" Exactly what this over-medicated country needs right now."
-Christine Northrup, M.D., author of The Wisdom of Menopause

" Unstuck is truly remarkable. . . . In this warm, practical, and user- friendly book, Dr. Gordon takes great care to remind us how much power we have to change our own lives."
-Dean Ornish, M.D., author of The Spectrum

" If you want to find out the real causes of depression and how to cure them, read this book."
-Mark Hyman, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of UltraMetabolism

"Addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of the problem, not just a possible chemical imbalance in the brain. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who feels stuck."
-Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Healthy Aging and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health

About the Author

James S. Gordon, M.D., is the Founder and Director of The Center for Mind-Body and a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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If you asked to see me as a doctor, to become my patient, I'd talk to you on the phone first. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Stephen M. Sagar on Oct. 12 2013
Format: Paperback
Any book on depression is enticing the vulnerable. This book suggests an alternative approach that in itself appeals to the desperate. Depression is a complex disorder that ranges from genetic variation in neurotransmitters, psychological trauma, to a loss of meaning and purpose. The balanced and professional use of drugs, EMT, and various forms of psycho and cognitive therapies should be ascertained from a physician or certified clinical psychologist. Some of the techniques could be dangerous if done without supervision and have been utilized by cults. An interesting book that should be followed with caution and expert supervision but not necessarily taken at face value.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peggy on Sept. 26 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was going through a mild depression: new in North America, family and friends left behind, 1st time mother, etc.... When I started to have bad thoughts about ending my life, I thought it was time to make a change. With St John's wort (herbal medicine), this book helped me a lot, not so much with the techniques described, but especially with the support it gave me: I was not alone and that helped me more than anything. I was not weak or sick, I was just tired and we all are at some point. If you need help, this book will give you all the keys for a better tomorrow.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 59 reviews
227 of 240 people found the following review helpful
Modern Bible for Depression Recovery June 18 2008
By O. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
*****
This book, written by a psychiatrist who himself has suffered from depression, will be controversial because it describes depression as "the beginning of an unfolding process of self-awareness, not the grim end of a disease process". The author challenges the prevailing model of depression as a medical illness, basing everything upon current brain research and current medical research dealing with depression. This is a very, very important book, one that every person who deals with depression should read.

If you are looking for a quick and dirty way of dealing with depression and want to take medication only, and from then on never think about depression or your life again beyond renewing your prescription, you would do better by NOT buying this book. Recovery from depression does take some work. On the other hand, if you want to know more about current research with SSRI's and view medication as only a part of your approach to dealing with depression, you should DEFINITELY buy this book. If you are like me and wish that you didn't have to take medication at all, and are willing to do some work to recover, you should absolutely buy it---you will love it and benefit greatly from it as I have.

If you want to know what research truly says about SSRI's it's here and more besides. Step-by-step techniques and tools. Examples that I could relate to. Integrating diet and exercise--what is shown to work and what doesn't. Supplementation. Support. Meditation. Movement. Awareness. Obstacles on your journey. Spirituality. There is a chapter on "the dark night of the soul", which includes dealing with suicidal thoughts. Alternative practitioners and alternative supplementation (including SamE, St. John's Wort, and rhodiola. There are huge appendices filled with resources to help you to find out more about every aspect of depression recovery. And of course, for clinicians and others, there are references to formal studies.

"Unstuck" is a resource manual---a bible, even---for depression recovery. It is important for those who have depression and for those who love them and for others who want to know what experts now know about all of the approaches to depression recovery.

Highly recommended.
*****

UPDATE 7-14-08: I just wanted to add that I in no way disparage people who need or want a "medication only" approach for depression. Apparently my review has given this impression to at least one person, and I regret this. Perhaps this will be clearer: if you are adamant that you want pharmaceuticals, and ONLY pharmaceuticals, and you don't care about any integrative adjuvant approaches, AND you don't care what any studies say about the medication you are taking, your money would be wasted by purchasing this book. If you are happy and cured of your depression, in your own estimation, then you are indeed fortunate and certainly would not want this book. You would not be or feel stuck, and thus would not want to be "unstuck".
147 of 156 people found the following review helpful
Video review by Alan Cheuse of NPR's All Things Considered June 30 2008
By J. Knecht - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
192 of 212 people found the following review helpful
Three stars = a little more than half right Feb. 4 2009
By Still Learning, Still Thinking - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most if not all of the things Dr. Gordon recommends are excellent strategies not only for people who are mildly or moderately depressed (conditions that I think probably shouldn't be referred to as depression at all to avoid confusion), but for everyone else, too.

However, for those who are seriously and severely disabled by depression, but who still have just enough energy to read, I think you can get a more complete and balanced view of the situation with some additional or alternative material.

A good start would be reading the following articles by fellow depressive Therese Borchard (on the web - find through a search engine).
"Don't Get Stuck on "Unstuck": Depression Is Real, and Drugs Help Me"
"The Latest on Antidepressants: Be Careful Where You Get Your Facts"

Then, especially if you've read "Unstuck," I think you'll have truly balanced and thorough basis to make a recovery plan for yourself if you read (or listen to as an audio book) "Against Depression" by Peter Kramer.

A final caveat about Dr. Gordon's book: Several elements of his recommendations contain an underlying - sometimes subtle, sometimes not so much - suggestion that depression is fundamentally a character flaw, or something that can be eliminated simply through alterations in a defective worldview, etc.
It's true that everyone needs to take as much responsibility as possible for their own lives. Needless to say it's also true that a symptom of depression is negative and unhealthy thinking. But for people who have major depression it's not helpful to frame the problem in ways that might lead to even more self-recrimination. In fact, I think that can make the problem and the consequences far worse.

If you have serious depression, especially in repeat episodes, there is considerable science pointing toward a probability that you have a biological injury, not just a "weakness."
So here's an analogy: If you have a bullet in your foot, it really doesn't matter whether you shot yourself or whether someone else shot you, or whether someone handed you the gun and encouraged you to do it, etc. The injury is the same, and you need to get serious help before you bleed to death. And if you have serious depression, get serious help before your life ticks away in confusion and despair.

So the Gordon book may be helpful, or not, depending on you, your history, and your current situation.
163 of 190 people found the following review helpful
Nice treatise, but a couple of troubling things... Sept. 9 2008
By Fred Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'm almost sorry that I read this book. On one hand, the author really put together a fairly comprehensive and well-thought out set of treatment recommendations. I have no doubt that there would be tremendous benefit to the wholistic approach of yoga, meditation, social interaction, improved diet, and exercise, etc. in overcoming many instances of depression - but not all. In the depths of gloom and doom, it can be difficult, if not impossible, just to do something as trivial as brush your teeth or clean yourself in the morning let alone find the strength to self-motivate and begin - as well as sustain - a progam similar to the approach described above.

The author further indicates that he typically obtains better results with a depressed patient after 10-12 weeks of therapy than he would have had the patient received anti-depressant treatment. I can't dispute his findings, but I do question them, particularly in acutely depressed patients. Of course, one of the main themes of the book is that anti-depressants are of little to no use, which is effectively throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It's just too extreme a reaction, in my opinion.

While I agree that they are certainly wildly overprescribed, I just don't think anti-depressants are useless. Moreover, I do not share the author's view that most/all depression has no organic basis and therefore can be treated by wholistic methods alone. One treatment method in the book, for example, was some kind of cognitive therapy where the patient was taught to avoid 'self-defeating' thoughts. I call that the 'Cancel That Thought Therapy', or the 'Don't Think of an Elephant in the Room Therapy', and as far as I'm concerned, it's a pretty useless approach - at least that's been my experience.

In summary, I do think that this book provides a ton of very good things that would enrich anyone's life. But in the case of seriously depressed people, I believe that anti-depressants may provide at least some kind of short-term intervention that wholistic methods alone (or together!) may not be able to. On balance, despite it's usefullness, I find it difficult to recommend this book unequivocally based on these criteria.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
A plan that everyone can follow July 18 2008
By Sondra Weiss - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book; well structured, easy read, with a plan anyone can follow. Each section build on the other. He explains the why and wherefore and then give a Rx at the end of each chapter. This process can used by itself or,in connection with your peronal medical professionals.

I particularly like the alternatives methods which he explains,in depth,so that a person can make their own informed choices. Personally, I am a vitamin and mineral advocate, but I know many who are quite pleased with herbal remedies.

It takes courage to buck the system and I am thrilled to see MD's starting to open the door to alternative ways. I have worked in hospitals for years and have seen the other side of the drug industry. They do just as much harm as they do good,in my opinion, and I think it takes courage to stand up and lead the way to safer health care.

It is definately on my reading and referral list to my clients as well as fellow medical professionals.

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