Lifting Depression: A Neuroscientist's Hands-On Approach to Activating Your Brain's Healing Power

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9780465037728: Lifting Depression: A Neuroscientist's Hands-On Approach to Activating Your Brain's Healing Power

Today's young adults are up to ten times more likely to experience depression than their grandparents were. Could it be that in our increasingly automated world, the reduced physical effort needed to accomplish anything may somehow interfere with our level of happiness and subsequent responses to stress? Neuroscientist Kelly Lambert finds compelling evidence that having to work hard for rewards significantly improves mood and prevents depression. Beginning with her innovative research on rats-she compared trust-fund rats” (whose rewards came with no effort on their part) to hard-working trained-to-succeed” rodents-Lambert offers hope of treatment for people without debilitating (and often ineffective) drugs. Drawing on a wealth of information from the fields of anthropology, neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology, Lambert develops a unique theory suggesting that physical effort directed toward tangible outcomes activates particular regions of the brain and builds resilience against the emotional emptiness and negative thinking associated with depression. Whereas most therapies emphasize the importance of mental activity, Lambert reminds us of the importance of physical activity in establishing control in a fast-paced culture that is focused more on the prospect of immediate gratification than savoring the fruits of our labor.

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About the Author:

Kelly Lambert, Ph.D., is Chair of Psychology at Randolph-Macon College and has published widely in the neuroscientific literature. Her smart-rats research, which is described in The Mommy Brain, was most recently presented on ABC's World News Tonight.” She lives in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

Review:

"Library Journal"
"Drawing from fields as diverse as evolutionary psychology, child development, neurobiology, and psychopharmacology, the author creates a compelling case for her theory of the effort-driven rewards circuit in the brain as the central explanatory mechanism."

Katherine Ellison, author of "The Mommy Brain"
"Kelly Lambert's cutting-edge research on depression is innovative, original and deeply inspiring. I strongly recommend "Lifting Depression" for anyone suffering from mood and stress disorders and all who seek a better understanding of these troubling diseases."

Christopher R. Martell, Ph.D., ABPP, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Department of Psychology, University of Washington; co-author, "Depression in Context," "Overcoming Depression One Step at a Time," and "The Myth of Depression as Disease"
"In this exciting and invigorating new book, Kelly Lambert presents a compelling proposition: that our highly technological society may in fact be increasing the rates of depression. Her suggestion for coping by increasing effort-based rewards is elegantly straightforward and consistent with emerging research in major clinical trials. "Lifting Depression" will help people suffering from the crippling impact of this disorder, and it is essential reading for all who want a full understanding of the biological and social aspects of depression beyond the popular sound bites about chemical imbalances and pills."

"Midwest Book Review"
"Wide-ranging and important, recommended for both health libraries and general-interest lending collections alike..."Lifting Depression" is a solid move to individual freedom."

Frank Forencich, author of "Exuberant Animal: The Power of Health, Play and Joyful Movement""
""Kelly Lambert offers us a comprehensive and compelling view of health that is holistic, practical and visionary. Her work on the efforts-based rewards system not only explains much of our modern discontent, it also offers a path to vitality and exuberance. This book will not only change our views on depression, it will transform our understanding of our bodies and our predicament in the modern world."

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Kelly Lambert
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