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The Instinct to Heal: Curing Depression, Anxiety and Stress Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy
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The Instinct to Heal: Curing Depression, Anxiety and Stress Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  841 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Millions of Americans try drugs or talk therapy to relieve depression and anxiety, but recent scientific studies prove certain alternative treatments can work as well or better-often bringing on a cure.

In this extraordinary international bestseller, award-winning psychiatrist and neuroscientist David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D., presents seven natural approaches, each w
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 5th 2005 by Rodale Books (first published 2003)
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Oct 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
As someone who's spent the last four years coming to terms with a severe anxiety disorder, I have been ripping through this book in fascination. The beginning is a little "technical" but the "techniques" used to treat anxiety, stress and depression are fascinating, scientifically researched and sound. This is not a book about meditation (although it is recommended) or a pop-psychology book, but a scientific study about our body and mind's ability to heal themselves.
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
للوهلة الأولى قد يبدو كتابا آخر من كتب "التنمية الذاتية" التي تتجاوز قيمة ورقها - في أحيان كثيرة - قيمة محتواها، وقد يدعم هذا الانطباع صورة غلاف الطبعة العربية وعنوانها المختلف عن عنوانه الأصلي "شفاء". لكن قراءة الصفحات الأولى ستجعلك تدرك فورا أنك تتعامل مع طبيب نفسي شديد المهارة والحساسية، ومع موضوع شديد الأهمية رغم تناسيه المثير للشك. عن الطب الآخر نتحدث. عن طب النفوس بغير عقاقير شركات الأدوية متعدية الجنسيات. عن طب تناغم دقات القلب، وحركة العينين، وضبط الساعة البيولوجية باستخدام ضوء الفجر، وم ...more
Nabilah Firdaus
As the title suggests - Healing Without Freud or Prozac explains to us seven natural treatment approaches that capitalize on the mind and brain’s healing mechanisms from recovering from depression, anxiety and stress. All the methods have been researched and studies documenting their benefits have been published in prestigious scientific journals. The seven methods are as follows:

1) Living with heart coherence
2) Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
3) Resetting your biological clo
Mar 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is book is by the author of one of my favorite books I have read so far this year, Anti-Cancer. Servan-Schreiber is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist (and cancer survivor). This book came before Anti-Cancer and focuses on curing anxiety, etc., without medication or talk therapy (as the title states). This book was quite frankly a godsend for me. I devoured it in 24 hours and can't express how valuable the information is. I deal with PTSD and have struggled to find the correct kind of help f ...more
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I put off reading this book because it sounds so heavy and depressing (I would call it The Instinct to Heal: Natural Ways to Increase your Health and Happiness), but I'm so glad I finally read it! Anyone could benefit from reading this. After a slightly slow start (I think the author has to prove to the medical community that he's a serious doctor and didn't come around to these conclusions lightly), it' s all about how to be happier and have better relationships. I enjoyed learning the science ...more
Jul 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Quality self-help books must avoid two pitfalls in order to be successful. On one hand, they should not be written in a style that is too dry and overly clinical, but on the other, they must not be based on generalities alone. The Instinct to Heal strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and reader engagement. It details the neuropsychology underlying stress, anxiety, and depression, in an easy-to-read manner, and lays out a plan with seven natural treatment methods which avoid the us ...more
Jan 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sad Kids and their friends
I read this book because a lot of my favorite people are depressed anxious and stressed out and none of them want talk therapy and some of them don't want drugs. All of the tips in this book revolved around developing mind and body coherence. There are two systems in the brain. The automatic emotional brain, and the neocortex action brain. The goal in acheiving mind body coherence is getting these two parts of the brains to balance and do the same thing. Depression, Anxiety and Stress occur when ...more
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Meredith by: Bart Theelen
Don't be discouraged by the "self help" title. This book is really enlightening concerning ways to mitigate stress in your life and how to live with a more healthy mind-body connection.
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent livre qui est parfois (surtout au début) juste un peu trop technique pour être parfaitement digeste, mais ce petit défaut s'efface par la suite et tout est merveilleusement intéressant. J'en parlerai beaucoup plus en profondeur sur mon blog donc comme j'ai /un peu/ la flemme de réécrire deux fois les reviews, ce sera : tout pour moi :D
Je conseille vraiment aux personnes sujettes au stress, à l'anxiété ou à la dépression et qui sont en recherche d'éléments de solutions naturels et, pour
Sep 03, 2007 rated it liked it
The OV of this one had the more prosaic title "Guerir le stress." Self-help books tend to make me flinch, but this one had enough decent information about treating anxiety and depression without pharmaceuticals to make it worthwhile. Breathing, EMDR therapy, fish oils, acupuncture, exercise, communication were some of the main subjects. All worth as much study as the creepy SSRI's that seem to be the only thing usually offered by medical professionals. (October 16, 2004)
Sep 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in depression
This book is about how to cure depression naturally. I checked it out from the library because I had baby blues. Then I bought it because it had so much useful and interesting information that I thought I needed to loan it out to friends and relatives so they could benefit also. It's dense at first, but his writing gets better as the book progresses, and it is full if fascinating anecdotes.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book!
'Izzat Radzi
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much better than I actually expected.

*Long review later with Ellul's book.
**A second thought perhaps no review for this one.

See this webtoon comic on prisons.
Dec 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meus, livros-2010
Este livro foi-me recomendado pela médica, quando em Outubro passado, eu não conseguia dormir e andava super stressada, no entanto só agora é que senti disposição para o ler, pois não sou pessoa para ler livros de auto-ajuda. No entanto, não posso considerar este livro típico de auto-ajuda., pois apresentamos muitos termos e casos médicos com os quais o autor se cruzou.
O próprio corpo tem "mecanismos" que o podem levar à cura, apenas temos que ir encontrando o nosso equilíbrio. Algo muito intere
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
P. 195 - "Em pleno pesadelo [Sarajevo, em 1993], quando já não resta nada, resta isto: a relação afectiva, mesmo com um cão. Poder dar ainda. Para nos sentirmos humanos. Sentirmos que ainda contamos para alguém. E isso é mais forte do que a fome, mais forte do que o medo.
Quando estas relações são perturbadas, a nossa fisiologia degrada-se, e sentimos isso como uma dor. É uma dor afectiva, mas mesmo assim uma dor. Esta chave do nosso cérebro emocional não depende unicamente do amor do nosso compa
Charles Henri
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Un livre intéressant qui tombe pile dans ma liste de lecture. Le livre débute avec des références au travail du Dr. Damasio (Descartes' error) que j'ai lu l'an passé et se termine avec des références au travail d'Abraham Maslow qui est le prochain livre sur ma liste (The farther reaches of human nature). Il s'insère aussi parfaitement dans mes valeurs. Plus je lis de trucs plus je vois que la santé mentale et la santé physique d'une société ne font qu'un. Tant qu'on continuera à vouloir soigner ...more
Chloe Lee
I have first stumbled upon the book in a small bookshop in Bristol, and I immediately bought the Kindle version of it, since I have always been interested in how the mind functions. Of course, this is not about how the mind functions, and if anybody wants to learn how the brain functions instead it would be better to go for Dick Swaab's We Are Our Brains: From the Womb to Alzheimer's.

Dr. Servan-Schreiber gives really practical advice, and the text is not too heavy with the excessive use of medic
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This international bestseller looks towards the East for solving the problems related to depression and stress. The oriental heritage and the lifestyle lends itself to balanced living. Which is why the suicide rates in the East due to this reason are much lower than in the West. The author needs to be complimented for the engaging style. It seems as though he is speaking in person due to the conversational tone of the writing. The case studies are apt and enlightening and the personal examples r ...more
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un libro "forte", in cui l'autore, medico e psichiatra, parla dei sistemi che sono in grado di attivare l'auto guarigione. È stato il primo che ha scritto, dopo aver iniziato un percorso di recupero della propria integrità psico fisico spirituale successivamente alla scoperta di avere un tumore maligno al cervello. della sua malattia in questo libro non ne fa cenno, ne avrebbe parlato in seguito, sebbene solo per accenni, in "anticancro", che lessi per primo.
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
J'ai lu ce livre en français. En 2 jours, je l'ai terminé. Je fus impressionné par sa rigueur, son ouverture, son intelligence. J'ai appris beaucoup sur le cerveau, toujours accessible. David Servan-Schreiber est un grand communicateur.
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب مهم عن نظريات العلاج النفسي لطبيب نفسي قلما نجد مثله ممن يهتم حقا بصحة الإنسان النفسية وليس فقط العلاج .. هو عصارة تجربته مع أنواع العلاجات النفسية المختلفة مع اسلوب سهل وممتع لكني اعتقد انه يحتاج إلي خلفية طبية -قليلا- لكي تستطيع مواكبته
يستحق القراءة...
Hager Simmons
Feb 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you read this book you will never take drugs for anxiety or seek talk theraphy for stress! I have read it twice and always keep it handy to re-read sections of it. A must read!
Ricky Schegg
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book explained highly controversial topics such as depression, meditation and other issues in a simple and straight forward manner. Highly recommended for individuals who are looking for something interesting to read that will actually help them understand themselves better. Not the best book to read while on vacation but definitely worth reading most of its chapters.
Peter Jordan
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The most readable and useful book I think I've ever read on natural approaches to dealing with anxiety and depression.
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este es un estupendo libro para aquellos que están en el campo de la salud o buscan sanar. Es de llamar la atención que lo escribe un psiquiatra. Con frecuencia la solución a todo problema emocional se encuentra en una pastilla y algo de terapia. Casi podríamos etiquetar a las grandes urbes como “Prozac Nations”. Todos viven estresados, ansiosos y/o deprimidos y dependiendo de fármacos para mantenerse a flote en la vida.

Tal como él lo narra, se ha encontrado con muchos escépticos dentro de su p
An important book. I picked this book up originally to see what it might offer Mom. I was thrilled to find chapters on using heart coherence, which I have been reading about in another book, Heart Math. I was also interested in his discussion of acupuncture. I wonder if “tapping” and practicing QiGong would do some of the same things. Since I’ve been having this shortness of breath and chest pains and since the doctor wants to put me on Zoloft, after determining that my heart is okay. I am re-r ...more
May 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book discusses alternative ways to cure stress, anxiety and depression, without using medication-it covers acupuncture, exercise, nutrition (specifically more Omega-3s), maintaining "heart coherence" (by what seems to me like meditation techniques, but he explains the physiology behind the heart rhythm changes that affect the emotional brain) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing(EMDR), resetting your clock with waking naturally with daylight, emotional connection to others and doin ...more
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The author is well read in both the current Western literature about depression, anxiety, and psychology as well as the more traditional methods of self-healing. As someone raised to want official proof, I appreciated that he included clinical trials and results that have made their way into the scientific literature about these various treatments (they are, for the curious, heart coherence, EMDR, light therapy, acupuncture, omega-3s and nutrition, exercise, non-aggre ...more
Sheri Howard
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For so many years, the standard protocol for treating depression, PTSD, or any other clinical diagnosis with symptoms of depression, anxiety, or panic was pharmaceuticals and psychotherapy. This protocol was helpful to a point. But many people were still left struggling with their symptoms--wishing desperately that there was something else to help them heal. In The Instinct to Heal, psychiatrist and neuroscientist David Servan-Schreiber describes alternative treatments that build on the body's r ...more
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, man-writer
Un livre à mettre entre toutes les mains, qu’elles soient déprimées, anxieuses, angoissées ou juste soucieuses d’améliorer son « cerveau émotionnel », comme le détaille David Servan-Schreiber. J’ai vraiment été agréablement surprise par cet ouvrage passionnant, qui détaille en autant de chapitres, sept méthodes particulièrement simples et efficaces pour reprendre les rennes de ses émotions. C’est simple, à chaque chapitre, vous aurez envie de tester la méthode décrite ! Alors bien sûr, on a touj ...more
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David Servan-Schreiber (April 21, 1961 – July 24, 2011) was a French physician, neuroscientist and author. He was a clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He was also a lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine of Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1.
More about David Servan-Schreiber

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“الابتسامة المصطنعة - أي التي نجبر أنفسنا عليها لأسباب اجتماعية - لا تحرف في الوجه غير عضلات الوجنتين، أي تلك التي تجعل الشفتين تنفرجان لتكشفا عن الأسنان. أما الابتسامة الحقيقية فإنها، على العكس من ذلك، تحرك - إضافة إلى عضلات الوجنتين - حميع العضلات المحيطة بالعينين.” 12 likes
“الدماغان العقلي والعاطفي يدركان المعلومة الواردة من العالم الخارجي في الوقت ذاته تقريبا. وانطلاقا من هذه اللحظة يمكنهما إما أن يتعاونا وإما أن يتنازعا السيطرة على الفكر والانفعالات والسلوك. ونتيجة هذا التفاعل - بين التعاون والتنافس - هي ما يحدد ما نشعر به وما تكون عليه طبيعة علاقتنا بالعالم وبالآخرين. فمختلف أشكال التنافس بينهما تجعلنا نشعر بالتعاسة، أما عندما يكون هنالك تكامل بينهما حيث يقوم أحدهما (العاطفي) بإعطاء اتجاه للحياة التي نريد أن نحياها، في حين يقوم الثاني (المعرفي) بدفعنا إلى التقدم في هذا السبيل، فإننا نشعر بانسجام داخلي. بأننا حيث يجب أن نكون في حياتنا.” 7 likes
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