As you may or may not know, I don’t do many review posts. The primary reason is that my website, my e-books, my work is designed to help people elevate and help themselves with realistic, actionable information. Most memoirs don’t do that. Most “alternative” anything books are poorly written or are fantasy. I don’t engage in the practice of trading reviews or promotion. Building trust with you, the reader, is a very important facet of what I’m trying to accomplish.
With that in mind, I was recently contacted by author William Jiang, MLS. William served as a Columbia University/New York State Psychiatry Institute Medical Library Chief for 7 years. He is the author of Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies. He is also waging a personal battle against Schizophrenia.
In the interest of disclosure, William did read one of my books and positively reviewed it before I read his. I made clear to William that I didn’t do any kind of positive for positive exchanges; that I would read his book and provide an honest review of it. Regardless of his actions, I would still be writing this blog post and review because I believe William created a fantastic resource that will be very beneficial to anyone who is interested in complementary means of better managing mental illness.
The Basic Gist of a Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies
The internet is absolutely flooded with garbage, misrepresented information on the treatment and management of mental illness. People regularly speak about subjects that they should not without any consideration to the consequences for the people reading them. William’s background appears to be that of a researcher and his book reflects that.
William describes this book as (paraphrased), “an annotated bibliography that picks from the “best” information from medical literature, including commentary, as well as the source, title, and abstract of the article from MEDLINE.” MEDLINE is a compilation of abstracts and citations regarding medical research.
So, what the hell does that mean in layman’s terms? You know how you can find information all over the internet about things like Omega-3 being good to combat depression, yoga and physical activity being helpful at reducing the severity of mental illness symptoms, and parasites in cat feces contributing to mental illness? William’s book is a collection of these complementary ideas with excerpts from the medical studies that help establish them as fact.
That is invaluable information to have. It is a helpful, compiled collection of realistic information that does not make false promises or aggrandize these concepts as THE SOLUTION. They are presented as neutral points of information that may or may not be beneficial as a pillar in your wellness plans and efforts.
How Should You Use a Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies?
William organized this book by subcategories. His words are italicized to differentiate it from the excerpts. Many important points are bolded to call attention to them.
Since this book does contain excerpts from studies, written by researchers and medical professionals, many people are going to have a hard time figuring out exactly what they are talking about in the excerpts. That’s okay though! Don’t be put off by the medical terminology. While informative and interesting, the actual text is not as important to a mental health consumer. What is important is that each of these points comes from accredited, verified resources where money, time, and energy was invested into analyzing them.
If you don’t understand the actual excerpts from the research, don’t worry about it. Gloss past it and keep reading; but do make sure to critically read bolded and italicized text. It’s okay if you don’t “understand.” People dedicate decades of their lives to understanding this stuff. It’s not reasonable to think that you will after reading a book or two.
How Should I Use the Information Presented Therein?
There’s a lot of good, complementary practices presented in this book. If any resonate with you that you want to try, the first step is to discuss the practice with your prescribing mental health professional. That way they can discuss it with you and identify any potential problems it might cause with your current treatment. I would also recommend making a call to your pharmacist to double check on potential interactions. Any discrepancy should be worked out with your professionals to ensure you don’t accidentally destabilize yourself. Do not just do whatever without talking to your mental health professional first.
About the Value of the Book
Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies is listed on Amazon, at the time of this writing, for $9.99 for the e-Book and $35.00 for the paperback. It’s about 130ish pages of quality information.
I know a lot of you are going to balk at the paperback price for William’s book. I know I did. What you need to bear in mind is that the knowledge needed to build this kind of resource is the result of years of education, experience, time, effort, and research. That is why textbooks and books like this do tend to run on the expensive side. Having read this book, I would spend $35.00 on it for a paperback if I had the $35.00 to spend on it.
The information is not only worthwhile, but it is worthwhile to me to support authors like William who are creating meaningful work for our mutual benefit. That being said, you’re going to know what you’re comfortable with spending on this work. Either way, I highly recommend adding Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies to your library. You can also find William on his website at www.mentalhealthbooks.net
And remember, a lot of people don’t know that you don’t need to own a Kindle to read e-books off of Amazon. Just look up “Kindle Reader” on Play Store, Apple Store, or Google. Amazon offers a free reader so you can read your e-books on other devices if you would like to go that route.