4 out of 4 stars
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Most of us know a child or teen with ADHD, depression, or addiction. The incidences of these and other mental disorders continue to multiply even as we develop more medications intended to treat them. Current research shows that widely-used psychiatric medications trigger responses like mania, psychosis, suicidal behavior, and violent crimes. Parents and other advocates for kids’ mental health have been speaking out for decades, and they are beginning to be heard. In her 2018 book, Restoring Your Child’s Mental Health: 10 Innovative Drug-Free Treatments, Gracelyn Guyol makes a strong case for getting off of the meds and finding lasting cures through holistic treatments. Specialized nutritional supplements, energy psychology, and cutting-edge brain balancing technologies are among the treatment categories that are proving to be worthy challengers to drug therapy.
In 1993, through the help of a Naturopathic Doctor, Guyol discovered that the Wellbutrin she was taking for mood swings had likely caused several breast cysts; they had appeared after she began taking the medicine and disappeared when she stopped the drug. Determined to find non-drug treatments for her bipolar disorder, the author began researching holistic solutions for psychological conditions. Guyol cured her bipolar disorder using holistic modalities and is now an activist for drug-free mental health treatment for kids and adults. New research shows that these less invasive, non-medication remedies are not just effective but are often more effective than drug treatment. Very few of the holistic treatments have any adverse side effects or drug interactions.
Holistic treatments address the biological or energetic systems of the whole person, rather than just one, isolated disease or set of symptoms. Guyol details treatments such as nutrition therapy to balance brain hemispheres, which mitigates ADHD and autism spectrum disorders. Special formulations of amino acids stimulate the neurotransmitters necessary for treating all types of addiction. But aren’t holistic treatments expensive? Some are, but many - such as homeopathy, and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – require a consultation with an expert, but continuing treatments are inexpensive and self-administered. Recent Harvard Medical School research favors energy psychology modalities like the EFT as the preferred treatment for psychological trauma from experiences like combat, accidents, school shootings, and sexual violence.
This book is nicely presented, with beautiful formatting and a solid structure. Each section reflects a sector of holistic medicine and highlights several specific treatments. The book is impeccably edited; I found just one error. Guyol’s tone is educational and technical, and always professional. She explains in very accessible terms each of these practices, the science each is based on, and how they help restore health in kids and adults. The bottom line is this: Research shows that many psychiatric medications are quite dangerous and that the safer holistic treatments work. That makes this an important book. I devoured the book in one sitting, but it could be used as a reference guide to evidence-based holistic health practices.
I rate Restoring Your Child’s Mental Health 4 out of 4 stars. Gracelyn Guyol has fully researched holistic healing and distilled her experience in this important and relevant book. She has authored several books and an educational television series on healing mental disorders without drugs. We will likely be hearing more about homeopathy, brain training, tapping, and amino acids, as our culture continues to evolve, seeing the whole person and not just a set of symptoms. If treating the whole person is not interesting to you, or if you are a Western Medicine traditionalist, this book may not appeal to you. I recommend Restoring Your Child’s Mental Health to anyone who is interested in mental health issues. If you are concerned about side effects of medications or are interested in non-drug mental health treatments for children or adults, this book is a necessary addition to your library.
Restoring Your Child's Mental Health
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