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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on May 6, 2012
I have experienced major depression for some time and have tried a number of therapies, with varying degrees of success. What this book provides is a sensible, reasonable practice of mental hygiene to break habits that contribute to depression and develop habits that can offer some relief. The authors don't claim a magic cure and they don't dismiss other remedies but they sensibly point out some obvious ways in which those suffering from depression make things harder for ourselves. Their approach is the opposite is a "snap-out-of-it" insensitivity - they encourage the reader to to accept that depression is not a fault or failure but simply a reality, and paradoxically this provides some power to improve one's life. I found their approach very helpful and recommend it.
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on March 2, 2010
This book is fantastic and the practical exercises help to work through depression. It should not be rushed through, there is a lot of information that should be read slowly. The other alternative is to read through it once and then go back and actually do the exercises. Our lives are rush,rush, rush and we try to focus on so much and our thoughts whirl through our minds mostly out of control, this book challenges us to step out of this 'doing' mode and enter into a 'being' mode. Being a self proclaimer expert in rumination I am finding that there is more focus on what I am doing now (mindfulness) instead of rehashing the past and this has helped me with the depression I've had. We learn to recognize thoughts and feelings and how impermanent they are and how often they change.
The CD that comes with it is great, narrated by the soothing voice of Jon Kabat-Zinn it takes you through some of the basic exercises.
Living in the present moment is a better way to embrace life. Trying to live in the past is futile and worrying about a future event that may never happen creates so much anxiety. All we have is this present moment.
I highly recommend this book, it is helpful, informative, and can introduce some life changing techniques!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 24, 2010
This book has four authors, all of them leading professors in Psychotherapy or Medicine. But they write with one seamless, user-friendly, Sanjay Gupta-style voice. The three experts who gave us "Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression" are back. But this time Jon Kabat-Zinn joins the team, with his experience as both a professor of Medicine and a meditation instructor. And the new book is entirely addressed to ordinary people seeking help with depression, or just hoping for a happier mental life.

I like the tone. It's informal and insightful, comparing various people's experience of mental suffering. There are patterns in how the judgments start, and how the struggle to "make things better" tend to make things worse. The patterns become entrenched habits, waiting to channel any experience down well-worn paths. The authors suggest an alternative response, which involves exploring more than fixing. It involves observing what we feel rather than trying to correct it. The authors apply the practice of mindfulness meditation to the problem of inner suffering, which is just what meditation was always meant to do. Much of the book and it's enclosed CD is simply a well presented guide to greater mindfulness and enjoyment of the present moment. It's one of the best introductions meditation I've seen, but it's tied to meeting ordinary human needs rather than presuming a spiritual motive. I'd advise the book for almost anyone.
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on February 7, 2012
I wasn't sure what to expect when this book was recommended to me. But as I began to read it, I couldn't believe how much it began to change my negative ways of thinking. I have been dealing with depression for most of my life, and this book has shown me methods to change my way of thinking. I've learned from this book that we really must live in the present. I was never good at this....I always dwelled on the past or worried about the future. But this book clearly shows the reader that avoiding the present moment can be a major reason why you can feel depressed and unfulfilled. It also teaches you to be happy with yourself in the present, and to stop comparing yourself now to the way "you should be". If this sounds like you, do yourself a favor and GET THIS BOOK. I love it.
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on May 28, 2009
Best book on depression I have ever read. Extremely well written in simple understandable language. Have already recommended it to many suffering with depression, sadness, etc.
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on June 22, 2015
This book changed my outlook from overwhelming depression (on the brink of suicide) to compassionate understanding of myself. It has provided me ways to heal and to continue living. It is not a quick fix. It took about a year of hard work to get to this state of comfort. Many days I could only read a page or maybe a paragraph, often the book stayed in the bed with me, and the CD in the player on repeat. Highly recommended to anyone, including counsellors.
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on September 13, 2013
Plenty of exercises and information in an easy to read style that helps you centre yourself before spinning out of control in moments of stress and diving down that rabbit hole we tend to go into when overwhelmed.
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on April 24, 2015
I love this book. It is currently being used as a basis for a Mindfulness Program for the Adult Mental Health Department in the hospital where I live. I use the CD daily. The program is changing my life for the better. I am the Queen of Rumination. I have chronic insomnia and using this program is helping me at this point to catch and name what I am doing, living in my head rather than simply being in the present moment. The more of the present I miss the faster life goes. This book is helping reclaim my life, this moment, this present, this breath, for this is all I truly have. I am so grateful to be led to this book.
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on May 18, 2009
Years ago, I suffered from a potentially fatal illness that kept me from working for almost a year. Jon Kabat-Zinn's 'Full Catastrophe Living' changed my life then, for the better. I've integrated some things into my lifestyle, but did not continue to practice mindfulness as I should have.

These days, I've been suffering from depression for a number of years, and for some reason did not know this book existed. In my nearing-desperate search for a way to improve my mindspace without drugs or a therapist I can't afford, I came across this book. It is showing me how to apply the skills I learned before in a way that is so clear, and applicable to my depression. It is a very well-written, easy-to-understand book that explains what should have been obvious without being patronizing. Not even halfway through it, I am beginning to see the patterns in my thinking, and am learning how to recognize it, and shut it down before I think myself into a new low.
If you or someone you love is depressed, and genuinely wants to work towards fixing it, I highly recommend this book - I believe it could be a key to lifelong recovery.
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on October 26, 2015
I have been working through The Mindful Way through Depression and accompanying 8 week workbook on mindfulness. It’s all about becoming aware of your response to negative things and the tendency to respond with trying to fix it (fight) or avoid it (flight). So it applies to depression, anxiety, stress and lots of other negative reactions to the things that happen to you. The goal is to learn to meditate and hold your tense body sensations and negative thinking patterns and desire to continue avoiding in a new “awareness” and stay with it until you crest the crisis of anxious feelings and start coming down the other side. Once you are on the other side, you realize that you are okay, that you can face these things and survive. This builds your resilience and positive outlook. Slowly of course, but it works.
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