Living Beyond Limits: New Hope and Help for Facing Life-Threatening Illness

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Living Beyond Limits is a compassionate guide to coping with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Dr. David Spiegel's groundbreaking research into mind-body healing stunned both the medical and alternative medical establishments. His work showed unquestionably the profound role support groups play in enhancing and prolonging the lives of patients with serious chronic disease. From this breakthrough study, Dr. Spiegel developed a proven program to help anyone with a chronic illness improve his or her quality of...
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Overview

Living Beyond Limits is a compassionate guide to coping with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Dr. David Spiegel's groundbreaking research into mind-body healing stunned both the medical and alternative medical establishments. His work showed unquestionably the profound role support groups play in enhancing and prolonging the lives of patients with serious chronic disease. From this breakthrough study, Dr. Spiegel developed a proven program to help anyone with a chronic illness improve his or her quality of life. Sensitive and inspiring, the book offers help in finding new networks of support, reviewing and reordering life priorities, strengthening family relationships, improving communication with doctors, controlling pain and other symptoms, and dealing with fears of dying.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Basing his conclusions on scientific research and clinical experience, the author discusses the connection between one's mental life and physical health. In his own study of women with advanced breast cancer who attended group therapy, Spiegel found that those who received group support were not only emotionally better off than the control group but on average survived twice as long. In contrast to those who advocate such approaches as visualizing away one's disease, the author makes no claim to cure illness. Rather, he aims at having patients improve the quality of their lives by acknowledging the seriousness of their illness. The author's single deviation in an otherwise interesting and useful book is his needlessly emotional outburst against suicide. For large academic and public libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/93.-- Bonnie Hoffman, Stony Brook, N.Y.
Karen Graves
Spiegel wrote a landmark medical study demonstrating that women with breast cancer who received standard medical care "and" met weekly in group therapy reported less anxiety, depression, and pain and lived on average twice as long as women who received no social support. (Researchers do not know why, though, and are now conducting further research.) Here he speaks to nonspecialist readers. He reports on the original study and more recent ones and presents the experience of living with serious illness, from the time of first diagnosis through the anxieties of treatment to the problems of living with the threat of dying. He also explores the activities that are important to successful coping: finding new networks of support, dealing directly with fears of dying, reviewing and reordering life priorities, strengthening family relationships, improving communication with doctors, and controlling pain and other symptoms. Intended to help cancer patients and their families, his work will be meaningful to those coping with other serious and chronic illnesses, too.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812920666
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/12/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 316

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
1 Weathering the Diagnosis 14
2 The Lull After the Storm 31
3 Illness, Personality, and Coping 44
4 Does Living Better Mean Living Longer? 65
5 A Little Help from My Friends 99
6 Detoxifying Dying 125
7 Taking Time 155
8 Fortifying Families 175
9 Suicide: The False Escape 219
10 Dealing with Doctors 225
11 Controlling Pain 242
Conclusion 273
Readings and References 277
Index 308
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2002

    Sadly dissappointing

    Sadly, I must say that I am very dissappointed with this overly indulgent book. It is such an important topic, that I would have thought that Spiegel would have taken more care to write it in a way that would be helpful to patients, such as me. But instead, I find his poorly organized writing style, his apparent stream of consciousness, and his haughtiness to border on offensiveness. It seems as if he likes to preach, but really does not have a good grasp of the experience of cancer. While he covers important topics, he does it in a manner that seems to be on the one hand paternalistic admonition, and on the other hand theoretical academics. I can only wonder if he truly feels what he writes, or if this is simply a launching pad for his career.

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