Ronald J Fisher and Caryn H Wichmann, Australian nutritionists and doctors of naturopathy, wrote Manage Stress Response, End Depression as a comprehensive primer for their patients and others suffering from depression. The sixty-six-page book is organized into eleven concise chapters, each with extensive and useful references at the end. The book’s tone is enthusiastic and confidently straightforward. The authors write in first person plural as if they are consulting with a depressed patient. This conversational style is effective and has the power to inspire every reader to try some of the treatment protocols suggested for greater health and happiness.
Fisher and Wichmann approach their subject from a holistic perspective that takes into account the multitude of potential causes for depression, from chronic disease and infections to nutritional deficiencies and chemical exposure. The book’s main focus, though, is an exploration of the pervasive and detrimental effects of unmanaged stress on the mind and body coupled with a synergistic treatment plan that goes far beyond conventional medicine.
An individual with depression (and/or a wide variety of other troubling physical and mental issues) will find an abundance of intriguing and unusual approaches to eliminating symptoms. For example, Fisher and Wichmann explain how the body’s desire for homeostasis can inadvertently delude one into thinking that unhappiness and chronic poor health is okay. “This is what we call the ‘homeostasis melancholy,’” the authors write. “Your own body by its steady adaption process fools you into the very sad state of thinking that this is your new normal—that there is no need for change—when clearly there is.” The authors also touch on the many ways people can self-sabotage their treatment. Their approach is thorough, from using a complex and fascinating visualization and affirmation exercise to eliminating all grains and fruit from the diet because they add an unnecessary burden on the system.
Unfortunately, Manage Stress Response, End Depression is not very well written. Many of the sentences, paragraphs, and sections are poorly structured. There are numerous typographical errors, and unclear and overuse of upper case, dashes, and apostrophes. Also, American audiences might find some of the Australian grammatical idiosyncrasies confusing. That said, there are an abundance of redeeming qualities to this book, making it a worthwhile read for those seeking an excellent overview of natural medicine’s approach to depression.