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Natural Prozac : Learning to Release Your Body's Own Anti-Depressants

by Joel C. Robertson, published by 1998-02-25 (HarperSanFrancisco)

Buy now from Amazon.com for $14.95
Amazon rating of 3.5 out of 5, Amazon sales rank: 165752

Editor's Review:

Another book that seeks to help the depressed change their brain chemistry without medication, Natural Prozac divides such people into two types. "Satiation" types seek to boost their levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin to promote relaxation, calmness, and a sense of security, and often become uncomfortable in overly arousing situations. "Arousal" types, on the other hand, eat foods and participate in activities that boost norepinephrine and dopamine, neurotransmitters related to alertness, assertiveness, and aggression; such people would rather be anxious than bored. According to Robertson, one of the ways for each of these types of people to battle depression is to act against their instincts: when satiation types raise their "excitement" chemicals and arousal types raise their "calmness" chemicals, their brains come into better balance; while this may make them anxious at first, eventually they become tolerant of the higher levels. Robertson recommends a variety of methods for doing this--through diet, exercise, spiritual practices, and even music (songs by Bach raise serotonin, he says, while Springsteen's "Born to Run" boosts norepinephrine and dopamine). Although some readers may be uncomfortable with being pigeonholed into a category, those who agree that they fit one type or the other will find plenty of advice on what to do next.Scientifically proven and easy to follow, Dr Joel Robertson’s groundbreaking lifestyle program makes a significant advance in treating and overcoming depression and its debilitating effects without drugs. With more than 21 million people now using Prozac and other anti-depressants worldwide, this book comprises an enormous breakthrough: an all-natural method anyone can use to regain control of their physical and emotional health. Robertson, an expert in pharmacology and brain chemistry, has been using this method with remarkable success for more than twenty years. His approach uses the body’s own natural chemistry to restore the brain’s chemical balance and end the dangerous cycle of negative thought patterns and behaviour that cause depression to recur. With detailed instructions on developing a tailored program of diet and exercise, new techniques for understanding and breaking free of negative habits, and targeted exercises for burning up self-destructive chemicals. Natural Prozac gives every depression sufferer a new option.

Reader Reviews:

Robertson's book identifies two different types of depression called Arousal and Satiation, and proposes two seperate modes of natural treatment. Robertson provides a couple brief questionaires to aid in identifying oneself as either type, but I found it nearly impossible to pigeonhole myself as one or the other. Caught in this conundrum, the book was not helpful to me at all. Furthermore, I found the behavioral and nutritional suggestions to be intuitive if not obvious.

I have long term depression and this book spells out in simple (overly simple?) terms what goes on with ones brain chemistry. I began to pay attention and become more aware of the effects of serotonin on my daily activities. This could be psycho-somatic, but it makes sense to me.

The author points out that brain chemistry changes very rapidly throughout the day depending on food, drugs, excersize, and emotional excitement.

It explains my extreme reaction to and addiction to sugar, and also why I may be 'burning out' my serotonin receptors.

I am only half way through the book and I consider it to be life altering.I cannot picture myself defeating (if that's the right word) my depression in the near future, but I do find books like this helpful as a sort of long term dream to strive for...but even when you know the root causes of your depression maintaining stability is still difficult. Antidepressants are helpful for those times when you really do need them - but they are drugs, and as such they have their negative side. I hope that I can find a natural solution - but fighting the battle is hard - and I admire anyone who has the power to meet the struggle.I have had problems with depression for as long as I can remember, and have been on and off medication for about a decade now. I started doing some research on the long-term effects of these anti-depressants, as well as their continued effectiveness (or lack thereof). When I came across this book, I took a chance when buying it because I was a little bit leery of trying to cure this thing myself. It just seemed like it was out of my hands.

Not only did this book point out the major factors and triggers of depression, but also explained it from different perspectives. I was never clear on the biochemical definition of depression, nor did I ever have any idea that my (bad) diet was contributing. The doctor is very understanding and is not completely against taking medication, though at the same time he offers a plan that does not require medication. He states that over time, being medicated for years and years is not always a good thing for the body.

I am now at half the dosage of Zoloft that I was taking and still feel great. I have changed my eating habits and exercise quite a bit, and when I do go off the wagon and eat junk food (i.e. fast food, cookies, etc.) I feel the difference and feel myself going back into that slump. I have a hope that after being completely off of the medication that I can still maintain a positive attitude towards life without symptoms of depression. He does point out that you cannot get over depression if you do not try to change your behavior and lifestyle because everything you do, say, eat, and think affects the balance of your neurotransmitters. I have learned a lot from this book and it all makes perfect sense to me. I hope others can benefit from it, as well. As someone who has been depressed for 6+ years, this book is helpful. It's even more helpful as someone who has not been using anti-depressants for 2 years. This book has motivated me to change things in my life to feel better. The book had one simple message for me: without changing your lifestyle, nothing will get better. That should be common sense right? But for people like me who don't think there is anything wrong with their lifestyle until you think about where you're going to be in 10 years...stuck maybe? This book is a step in the right direction, not a cure. This book made a lot of sense to me and I have never been so positive about my depression in my life.
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See also:
Depression-Free for Life: A Physician's All-Natural, 5-Step Plan

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause: The Breakthrough Book on Natural Progesterone

Potatoes Not Prozac: A Natural Seven-Step Dietary Plan to Stabilize the Level of Sugar in Your Blood, Control Your Cravings and Lose Weight, and Recognize How Foods Affect the Way You Feel

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