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A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,054 ratings  ·  265 reviews
Named one of the top health and wellness books for 2016 by MindBodyGreen

Depression is not a disease. It is a symptom.

Recent years have seen a shocking increase in antidepressant use the world over, with 1 in 4 women starting their day with medication. These drugs have steadily become the panacea for everything from grief, irritability, panic attacks, to insomnia, PMS, and
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 15th 2016 by Harper Wave (first published February 16th 2016)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  2,054 ratings  ·  265 reviews

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Apr 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Lots of what seems like good evidence for the link between gut health and mental health, but I am left with a lot of questions about how solid her research is. The author's credibility is strained by what I think are some pretty over-the-top claims about lack of effectiveness of pharmaceuticals such as statins (new article in the NEJM just validated their effectiveness in preventing heart attack and stroke, even for those who are not high-risk), toxicity of vaccines (hello? haven't we already be ...more
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nutrition
I've been trying to get off SSRIs for years. I think I'll finally be able to.

Everyone should read this book.
Sara Strand
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have to start by saying I am not a health nut. I am not that person who believes essential oils and mediation is going to help me. I'm far too impatient and not gullible enough for that. I'm just not. I really struggled with this book because it feels like it's coming almost from the anti-vaxxer group who will tell you that these things are going to ruin you and you're better off eating an apple or something. I should also note that I'm not that person who doesn't trust her doctors. Yes, I get ...more
Jason Scott
Jan 20, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
2021 edit because people keep liking this review: the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) listed Kelly Brogan as one of the 12 people most responsible for spreading pandemic disinformation. She profits off of misinformation and people get hurt because of it. :(

If you've read this book, that was what she accuses others of. Hypocrite.

2020 edit because people keep liking this review: Looking at her twitter feed she's part of the COVID-1984 "pandemic is fake to control you crowd". H
Angie Jones
This book quite literally changed the trajectory of my family's health. I stumbled across this book seeking answers to help my daughter who was struggling with anxiety, depression and an eating disorder. The fact that Kelly is a trained psychiatrist who has rejected drugs as a viable therapy to treat her patients intrigued me. The anti-depressant that our daughter's psychiatrist prescribed wasn't working so she just kept upping the dose until our daughter self-harmed. At that point an anti-psych ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
Ugh. How to review a book that says so many things you want to support, but for all the wrong reasons???

I'm absolutely, positively, 100% in favor of attempting a lifestyle-based cure for what ails you. Start there. *Especially* if you are American. Our nation has gone completely off the rails when it comes to medicating. This isn't even remotely at question.

I simply suggest that you choose a different guide.

I borrowed this because it was recommended on the A Delectable Education podcast, and a
Apr 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
I agree with the premise that depression is complex and pills only one narrow approach. But I cannot agree with the radical approach that the author than proposes including her stance against birth control and vaccines.
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you have ever taken medication for anxiety or depression, if you're currently taking them, or if you're considering taking them, I strongly urge you to read this book. I have been struggling with anxiety and depression for about 18 months now, and it is one of the most physically and mentally painful and debilitating things a person can experience. But I am here to tell you, and so is Dr. Kelly Brogan, that anti-depressants are not always the answer. Despite what pharmaceutical companies woul ...more
Jan 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
After reading this shocking book its clear to see that Brogan is a paranoid, cherry-picking conspiracy theorist, with an irrational fear of the FDA and 'Big Pharma'. She utilises non-credible resources which lack peer-review (often citing websites she's PAID to write for herself) to bash Western medicine, while presenting a narrow, limited “cure” for depression that in no way takes into account personal circumstances or challenges. Brogan promotes unnecessary fear and fallacies about Western med ...more
Suzie Hunt
Jan 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
This is one of the worst 'pseudo-science' books I have ever read. She criticises 'Big Pharma' for using studies with small sample sizes and for failing to control for placebo effects -- but then the studies she posts as sources for her truly outrageous claims are so completely flawed it's hard to know where to begin in criticising them.

I was hoping for a book that explained some of the science behind depression, and had some of the studies of the recent links between the microbiome and mental h
Laura Luzzi
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway, health
This woman is a walking medical encyclopedia. There is a lot of material in this book. I was attracted to this book because I have had medical problems for 3 years and no doctor has yet to know what exactly is the answer to my problems. Everyone dreams of a magic pill to quickly feel good, but good health doesn't work that way as this book points out. I do believe in the gut-brain dynamic. That's the very 1st thing I am going to do - go on a probiotic supplement. This book has a lot of valuable ...more
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Quite fascinating and enlightening. For a nonfiction it is very readable and practically helpful. I had already given up dairy for two weeks before starting it and had seen a remarkable improvement in my allergies. Now after reading this book I'm taking my allergy testing more seriously and have given up wheat and sugar and flouride toothpaste and am drinking filtered water. And am going to bed at 10:00 pm. I'm very thankful for this book. Different people will get different things from it as sh ...more
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this book from the library and found it so chock full of good information that I'll actually now buy a copy to refer to regularly. We've long been hearing about the growing body of evidence connecting gut health to brain function. This book continues the theme in an accessible way and provides clear advice on lifestyle and dietary changes you can make to improve your mental and physical health. I'm not on any SSRIs myself, but will certainly be giving some of these suggestions a try i ...more
Kim Ryan
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a watershed moment - an actual Doctor of Psychiatry who says "Pills don't cure depression". I thought depression was due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. I don't know WHY I have always thought this was true; a point the author makes by way of explaining that the U.S. is one of only 2 countries on Earth that allow direct-to-consumer advertising. This is what the makers of Prozac want us to think - despite the fact that not one study in 60 YEARS has proven this to be true.

Dr. Ke
Melissa Timberman
Mar 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written for rich, white women. I *was* going to give it 2 stars, because the studies she quotes are all factually based. But she comes to such ridiculous conclusions about those studies, that I have to downgrade her.

Good takeaways from the book- I can count them nearly on one finger:
1. "Discontinuation syndrome" is *very* well documented. Withdrawal, not depression, may be responsible for your symptoms when you try to taper off.
2. The gut-brain connection, and its implications for y
Jul 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for anyone that is struggling with their mental health or has a loved one that is struggling. Written by a board certified psychiatrist, Dr. Kelly Brogan "shatters the mythology conventional medicine has built around the causes and treatment of depression." ...more
Sarah Booth
Very interesting. The author follows very good views on the way food effects our brains and there was a lot to agree with but she is extremely against medicines and believes they do more harm than good. I might agree in some examples though she was pretty adamant across the board. It’s not that black and white in my opinion. Antibiotics are way too over prescribed and do a lot of damage to the gut biome, but they also save lives in many cases.I think her over all suggestions on diet change and l ...more
May 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
The main premise makes sense: why haven't we thought of depression as a symptom before? Besides that, this book is like combining Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health with Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, The Sleep You're Missing, The Sex You're Not Having, and What's Really Making You Crazy and adding some nonsense. She provides plenty of food for thought, and a lot of it made sense, but I found it interesting how she waited unti ...more
Tash Seaton
Sep 11, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was thought provoking. As someone who studies mind-body connections for a living I found this book somewhat refreshing - especially at the beginning. Our society obsesses over the dualism of body and mind and only recently has it been acknowledged in the mainstream that the two are connected. Which, by the way, is bizarre: our mind is literally inside our body. I personally found the beginning chapters of this book, which address the connection, to be persuasive and compelling. Brogan ...more
Jessica  Claxton
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I heard this author speak on a Wellness Mama podcast (highly recommended for nutrition/wellness nerds) and I was intrigued by her message. Kelly Brogan is a well-educated psychiatrist who threw away her prescription pad after dealing with her own autoimmune issues. This book is a drug-free way to heal mental health diseases. She lays a lot of foundation about why we are sick and how medicine isn't helping (and she sites several studies that claim it is harming), and then offers a 4-week protocol ...more
Heather Lake
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has completely changed my view on psychiatric medicine. When I first dove into this book I had feelings of hopelessness. I had feelings that nothing would work, no one understands and no one has another solution. This book has completely changed my life. It has helped open doors to other possibilities. Kelly's braveness and passion shows in her writing. It's as if she's sitting across the table with you and your the only person she's treating. If you don't read this book you are missin ...more
Natalie Weber
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health-fitness
This book has literally been lifesaving! After watching an interview with the author that a friend recommended, I picked this book up at our local library and started reading it on the flight to visit my sister who was suffering from major anxiety and depression. The more I read, the more I recognized that my sister's experience was nearly identical to what Dr. Brogan explained from her research and observation in years of practice. Many years of minimal nutritional focus and pregnancy-related c ...more
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For women, anti-depressant drugs are prescribed for problems ranging from depression to anxiety to PMS to insomnia. This book explores a very different approach.

According to the author, the assertion that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that is easily fixed by a drug like Prozac is total nonsense. Rarely do such drugs help at all. In fact, they may make things worse by permanently disabling the body's self-healing mechanism. Depression, and other such mental and emotion
May 29, 2016 rated it liked it
The author has some excellent credentials in her preparation as a practising psychiatrist in Manhatten. I scanned the book, and am disappointed to find a 30 day action plan that includes some marginal elements such as "targeted nutrient support" and "detoxification", within the good advice regarding dietary interventions, sleep, and stress reduction. I know that 30 days is the general pattern to develop new habits.

She also includes a section of recipes with ingredients, for which access would c
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, the evidence she provides in the first few chapters regarding anti-depressants and seems legit and even inspired me to try dropping gluten for a month even though I have no history of mental illness, just to see if it affects me at all. She also makes some reasonable points about the importance of exercise and meditation, but that's not new science.
However, Dr Brogan also believes in some far-fetched and unsupported ideas that she offers with
Miss Scarlett
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
This book is well written, easy to read, and I appreciate that Dr. Brogan cites her sources!

Her mission is to empower people (specifically women) in their health journeys. I find this particularly interesting since she is a psychiatrist and I have not heard many psychiatrists much interested in their clients having self power. I am glad that she addresses the physical along with the mental; a connection between diet and depression is often overlooked.

I do disagree with some of her dietary sugg
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a psychotherapist I was astounded to know that the research on antidepressants really shows that they have no efficacy at all and the placebo effect is what creates initial change. There is an amazing amount of research review in this book, which is truly mind blowing and opposite of popular belief about depression at this time.

Since I had to change my eating over a year ago, as a result of a GI diagnosis, to essentially what is recommended in this book, I can attest to the profound effect o
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
After watching some of my close friends struggle with anti-depressant medication, I was very interested in reading this book. The author shares a lot of research and study results from many popular medications, some of which I found alarming (i.e. many anti-depressants do not perform better than a placebo, yet have severe side effects including being extremely addictive). As a result in the name of full disclosure, I believe anyone considering or taking anti-depressant medication should consider ...more
Amirtha Shri
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh, this book! It's been a while since I've touched non-fiction. I am so happy this book deals with eliminating depression in a practical way - a combination of diet, meditation, exercise and sleep. I've always known the importance of these four but not in such detail and I was not motivated enough till I got in touch with the dreadful reality that is the present. I am open to trying a lot of the things this book offers and I still do have a few qualms about uneasy things like coffee enema (coff ...more
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“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” 6 likes
“Instead, when you have a symptom—when you feel cloudy, sad, sore, gassy, weepy, tired, or unnecessarily anxious—bring some wonder to it. Ask why and try to make the connections. Your body’s symptoms are telling you something about equilibrium. Your body is trying to tell you that it has lost balance. Stand back and appreciate the infinite complexity of your organism. Know that fear will only drive you to treat your body like a robotic machine that needs oil and gear changes. We are so much more than buttons and levers.” 4 likes
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