There are many factors that drive the actions of individuals. One of the many influential factors is emotion, specifically negative emotions such as guilt, shame or anxiety. Negative emotions can create a multitude of effects as well. For example, individuals dealing with anxiety may see their lives screeching to a halt due to the symptoms and effects of the problem. In a different case, a person may face struggles because guilt has overwhelmed him or her, which may lead to self-medicating with drugs or alcohol.
Whatever the effect, negative emotions can and will often take their toll on an individual. This is why Peter R. Breggin’s book is such a valuable resource, as it teaches readers how to understand and overcome these emotions.
“Guilt, Shame and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions” is a book written by Peter R. Breggin M.D. who examines the causes and effects of psychological and emotional suffering through the lenses of biological evolution, child development and mature adult decision-making. Breggin draws on information from evolution, neuroscience and his own clinical experience to analyze the painful emotions that can hinder and harm human beings.
In the book, Breggin compiles evidence to show that human beings evolved to be both violent and empathic creatures. Negative emotions such as guilt, shame and anxiety are viewed as evolution’s way of dealing with the species-threatening conflict between violence and the need for community. These are the emotions that helped humanity’s ancestors control their self-assertiveness and aggression within intimate family and clan relationships. While it was good for humanity’s survival that our ancestors knew not to destroy each other, today these have also become a hindrance to many individuals.
Based on this compilation of knowledge, Breggin guides his readers through his “Three Steps to Emotional Freedom.” These steps include:
- Identifying negative emotions
- Learning to reject their control of us
- Learning how to triumph over guilt, shame and anxiety
Through the combination of understanding the source of humanity’s negative emotions and the use of Breggin’s tips, readers are offered the ability to transform their lives spiritually and psychologically. This opens the door to greater emotional freedom and the ability to lead a more rational and loving life.
Peter R. Breggin, M.D., is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and former full-time consultant at NIMH. He has authored dozens of scientific articles and more than twenty books including “Toxic Psychiatry”, “Talking Back to Ritalin”, “The Antidepressant Fact Book” and “The Heart of Being Helpful: Empathy and the Creation of a Healing Presence,” and with co-author Ginger Breggin, “Talking Back to Prozac”. His most recent publications include “Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime” (2008) and “Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry: Drugs, Electroshock and the Psychopharmaceutical Complex, Second Edition” (SPC, 2008). Dr. Breggin is the founder and director of The Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education and Living (www.EmpathicTherapy.org) To learn more about Dr. Breggin and his book, please visit www.breggin.com.
Written by Brianna Gibbons, Sovereign Health Group writer
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