The Antidepressant Survival Guide

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2001-02-13
  • Publisher: Harmony
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"Now patients can have the best of both worlds -- freedom from depression and freedom from side effects. Dr. Robert Hedaya offers a wealth of wisdom drawn from years of clinical experience, research, and teaching. This book is a much-needed lantern in the darkness." -- Norman Rosenthal, M.D., author ofSt. John's Wort: The Herbal Way to Feeling Good * Restore the vital vitamins, minerals, and hormones necessary to maintain good health. * Optimize your body's metabolic system. * Restore your ability to experience pleasure in life. An estimated twenty-five million Americans take antidepressants to combat depression, but most continue to cope with a host of debilitating side effects that equal, and sometimes outweigh, the medication's obvious benefits. Many doctors consider side effects such as weight gain, lethargy, and sexual dysfunction to be necessary evils. Finally, there is a doctor who refuses to trade a patient's total well-being for the treatment of depression. Clinical psychiatrist Robert J. Hedaya, M.D., has developed a comprehensive mind-body program to restore lost vitality and sex drive and control weight. A Washington Post bestseller in hardcover, his book offers a proven program of nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, and hormone supplementation that not only lessens the side effects of antidepressants but enhances their benefits as well. Now everyone can benefit from the prescription that has worked wonders for his own patients.

Author Biography

ROBERT J. HEDAYA, M.D., is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Hospital's Department of Psychiatry and one of the world's leading psychopharmacologists. He also maintains a private practice in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Norman E. Rosenthal
``I'm Not Depressed Anymore, but When Do I Get a Life?''
The Antidepressant Survival Program in a Nutshell
An Integrative Approach to Eliminating the Side Effects and Enhancing the Benefits of Antidepressants
The Paradox of Antidepressants
How They Work Against Depression...and Sometimes Against You
Getting Started
The Five-Day Jump Start
A Balanced Nutrition Plan
A Balanced Exercise Program
Spiritual Renewal
Relaxation, Play, and Spirituality
Forging a Partnership for Healing with Your Doctor
Traps to Avoid, Questions to Ask, Tools to Share
The Hormone Connection
Gut Reactions
Reclaiming a Healthy Sex Drive
Conclusion 255(4)
Afterword A Note to My Colleagues 259(2)
Appendix One Recommended Resources 261(5)
Appendix Two Glycemic Index of Foods 266(5)
Appendix Three Medical References 271(12)
Acknowledgments 283(3)
Index 286


Restoring Balance to Your Body and Life
Thanks to recent medical progress, the biochemistry governing antidepressant side effects -- particularly weight gain, loss of sexuality, and decreased mental acuity -- is gradually coming to be understood. These side effects are the results of specific, usually treatable imbalances in the brain and body. You will see that this program employs a wide range of treatment modes -- nutrition and exercise, hormonal and herbal supplements, meditation and much more -- to redress the imbalances caused by medication and reestablish healthful function.

There is no simple, one-size-fits-all remedy for side effects, because every person responds differently to antidepressant medications. Every person's body is different. But nearly everyone can benefit from my program because its goal is the same for all people: to diagnose and counteract the imbalances in the body.

When imbalance occurs, the body struggles to compensate and to reassert its natural balance and healthy order. This innate drive toward equilibrium is your body's hidden gift. Antidepressants are powerful agents. Overcoming their negative side effects is not and cannot be effortless. But as you draw nearer and nearer the rewarding life you seek, this wellness program, in collaboration with your body's innate drive to heal itself, will prove to be a surprisingly unstoppable force for recovery.

Mine is an integrative, holistic approach that incorporates recent breakthroughs in psychopharmacology, nutrition, immunology, gastroenterology, and endocrinology -- what I call Whole Psychiatry. Rather than getting bogged down in meaningless distinctions between "natural" and "traditional" treatments, this program is guided by two simple and pragmatic questions: Is it safe? and Does it work?

It is safe. The danger to most patients lies in going off their medication; 80 percent of people who have had more than two depressive episodes will relapse within one year if they stop taking their medication.

And it works. More than three hundred patients have proven that all motivated individuals can enjoy increased self-esteem, confidence, vitality, vigor, and sex drive -- in short, a level of healthfulness they may never have experienced before.

My program is grounded in the basic principle of returning the body's natural healthfulness and balance. Specifically, it

*Restores the vital biological factors -- including micronutrients (e.g., vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids) and hormones -- that are often depleted and are essential to the body's health
*Restores the optimal function and proper balance of the body's metabolic and energy systems
*Restores the ability to experience pleasure in life (inability to experience pleasure is a classic symptom of depression)
*Restores the crucial balance among work, stress, and play

This program is for anyone who believes, as I do, that it's not enough to survive depression. You can thrive. Since you're reading this book, I probably don't have to convince you that there's a fuller, more satisfying life than the one you have.
So, do yourself a favor. Get a life!

Excerpted from The Antidepressant Survival Guide: The Clinically Proven Program to Enhance the Benefits and Beat the Side Effects of Your Medication by Robert J. Hedaya
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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