questionshave you ever actually been helped by a self-help…

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At one time I read: http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Zombie-Better-Living-Through/dp/1602391874 and it put a lot in perspective in a whimsical, nonsense way, that was better received and I achieved some self-help. Please note though, third party assistance is often needed because we are our worst enemy and our largest hurdles are often self-created. I hope you find what you are looking for, best of luck.

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I'm in my 30's, college graduate, father of 2 and consider myself fairly successful. Talking to somebody doesn't make me feel better when I'm down. Reading a book doesn't do anything for me.

When I feel like I'm slipping into a funk, or the pressure starts to mount, I face the problem with my own self help remedy. I use cannabis to alter my state of mind, and then with either my wife or just myself I enter a state of self reflection that isn't possible in therapy or even taking a happy pill. Once I have my life's issues sorted out in my head I can move forward and return to my normal groove.

If I wrote a self help book it would be about 500 pages, with only writing on 2 of them because the remaining pages would be rolling papers.

BTW, I was staunch anti-drugs from high school until I was about 25 - but I can atest to the medicinal benefits of cannabis

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Thanks. To clarify: I do have a serious psychiatric condition--severe OCD--but since my insurance won't pay for the one type of therapy that has worked in the past and is recommended for it, and since nothing else has worked, I'm thinking of looking to alternate "treatments" including books, meditation, etc. But I'm curious to know if anyone with any problem has ever gotten any better going this route.

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I have professional training as a psychologist as well as experience reading self-help books; just to clarify, I am not offering professional advice in this post, just my own personal opinion.

IMHO, self-help books can help, but it depends on a variety of factors. The quality (and accuracy!) of self-help books varies just as much as therapists: it can be difficult to find a self-help book that's based on academic research and written in an accessible manner, with practical suggestions.

In order for a self-help book to be useful, assuming that its content is helpful, an individual needs to be able to think critically about the roots of a problem and possible realistic outcomes; accept responsibility for making a situation better; and be motivated to follow through on the book's content. In therapy, all of these are often missing, which leads me to believe that people picking up a self-help book may be missing these as well, which would limit the utility of a self-help book.

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The only self-help book I read was in the "For Dummies" series and din't help at all. I suppose that would make my answer "no". Best of luck to you. :)