A Mind of Your Own: The Truth about Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives by Kelly Brogan M.D. with Kristin Loberg

Kelly Brogan cures depression. There’s only one problem. It is not possible to prove anyone’s depression has been cured. Depression cured is not defined in current medical theory. So, Brogan tells women how to “heal their bodies and reclaim their lives”, offering “AN INVALUABLE GUIDE TO CONQUERING DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY IN 30 DAYS”. If she called the book: “Kelly Brogan Cures Depression”, she would be branded a quack.

She’s not a quack. Dr. Brogan is a Doctor of Medicine, a graduate of Cornell University Medical College with a master’s degree in Brain and Cognitive Science/Systems Neuroscience from M.I.T. She worked for years as a board-certified psychiatrist but now says, “Before I stopped prescribing, I had never once cured a patient. Now people are cured every week in my practice.” She cures, and she’s not a quack. What is she?  She is ignored. Depression cannot be cured, so when Brogan cures a depression, it is ignored.

The book has two main sections. First, an in-depth look at depression. Is depression a symptom, an illness, a disease, or a medical disorder? It’s not well defined in medicine. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) lists 8 different “depressive disorders”, including “Other Unspecified Depressive Disorder”. Brogan says depression is a symptom, not a disease and advises “There is no such thing as an anti-depressant” and “60 percent of people stay on anti-depressants for more than 2 years, 14% for more than a decade”. Anti-depressants don’t claim to cure. Brogan says “The medical industry isn’t selling a cure. They’re selling sickness.

In the second section, Brogan tells us how to cure depression. She begins with “Many of my patients come to me like wilting, withering plants, propped up by sticks and tape, having lived in a dark room with recirculated air.” The book provides many examples of patient success that will be familiar to any woman who has suffered depression or has a friend who suffered depression:

  • Eva had been taking an antidepressant for two years, but now wanted to get off it because she was planning to get pregnant
  • Jane, who fell into this black hole after being treated for irritable bowel and acne with drugs. Unfortunately – there is another Jane referenced later.
  • Melissa was just thirty-one years old with no previous psychiatric history… complaining of agitation, a racing heart, insomnia, and anxiety. Another psychiatrist had given her prescriptions for the antianxiety drug Ativan and the antidepressant Zoloft
  • Jessica, twenty-three years old, complaining of PMS with acne and a pervasive feeling of unease that qualified as textbook depression.

These cases are thin, but inspiring, nevertheless.  You can find more and more details under SUCCESS Stories on her website. Case studies are often dismissed as ‘anecdotal evidence’ by critics. Know this: every cure is a single case, a story, an anecdote. Conventional medicine ignores anecdotes – so it ignores cures.

How does Dr. Brogan cure depression? She says “Many of my patients have been to multiple doctors…” “But… nobody has asked …Why are they unwell?”, Brogan identifies many common causes of depression and addresses each cause in turn. When causes are addressed – the illness fades and disappears, cured. She identifies and works on specific causes for each patient and cures with health.

Chapter 10, Four Weeks to A Natural High, offers a 30-day plan – as a starting point for many patients, and a cure for some. It’s not trivial. I believe few doctors would undertake to work through such significant changes with a patient. Dr. Brogan also takes special care and offers special advice to patients taking medications for depression. The longer someone spends on medicines – the harder it is to quit.

Can a book cure depression? Can this book cure your depression? Dr. Brogan says “my patients are my partners. We collaborate, and they work hard… at a time when they feel they can’t even lift a finger”. If you want to cure your depression with this book, you might succeed. However, you may need help from someone dedicated to curing depression.

Dr. Brogan is a doctor with a lot of experience curing depression, but little experience writing books. She made a wise decision to collaborate with an excellent author, Kristin Loberg, and the result is a New York Times bestseller. It is primarily about and written for women. I’d love to see one for men.

Dr. Brogan is not alone.  There are other doctors curing depression, even writing books about curing depression. They too are ignored by conventional medicine.  Conventional medicine “treats” depression, without a definition of cured. A Mind of Your Own was published in 2016, after years of experience curing depression. How long will it take the medical profession to pay attention? How long to understand?