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Publisher's Summary

Do you sometimes feel as if you're just going through the motions in life? Are you good at looking and acting as if you're fine, but secretly feel lonely and disconnected? If so, you are not alone. The world is full of people who have an innate sense that something is wrong with them - who feel they live on the outside looking in, but have no explanation for this feeling and no way to put it into words.

If you are one of these people, you may fear that you are not connected enough to your spouse, or that you don't feel pleasure or love as profoundly as others do. You may drink too much, or eat too much, or risk too much, in an attempt to feel something good.

Running on Empty will give you clear strategies for how to heal, and offers a special chapter for mental-health professionals. In the world of human suffering, this book is an emotional smart bomb meant to eradicate the effects of an invisible enemy.

©2013 Jonice Webb, PhD (P)2015 Tantor

What listeners say about Running on Empty

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • LJ
  • 2018-12-06

Robotic slow narrator, good content

It was difficult to focus on the content of the book in the beginning since the narration was slow and robotic with odd intonation and emphasis. It sounded like having my GPS read me a book. My daughter was convinced the voice was not human. I speeded it up by 25% since the reading was too slow which made the book only just over 6 hours in length, speeding it up make it more bearable.

The content was quite good. The caption "Overcoming your CEN" is a bit misleading though since the 'overcoming' part was only a very small portion of the book.

Apart from all that the content was interesting and I am glad I chose this book.

5 people found this helpful

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Easy to understand but became a bit redundant

Good observations, particularly that emotionally neglectful parents are not necessarily bad parents but that the later consequences can manifest in many ways

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Everyone knows someone for which this is relevant

It was a great listen. Provided insights that I have heard nowhere else. Truly a revelation in how Our minds are shaped by our emotional experiences or lack thereof. Worth a listen to learn a lot.

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help me realize

I think sometimes as adults we forget how our childhood formed us. I think everyone in the world needs to read this book because we have all been raised and around imperfect people. This book helped me see how I learnt to be and how to break it.

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Life changing!

This book is the first to describe so accurately how I feel and why I feel this way. Can’t wait to listen to the next one.

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  • KP
  • 2019-04-15

Enlightening!

While I find some of what the author wrote about to be problematic, I am so thankful I found out about her and the concept of childhood emotional neglect. It perfectly explains why I’ve struggled for so long and not been able to pin point any ONE reason for my problems: “I guess I’m just crazy and needy and annoying.”

I’ve done a lot of healing since hearing her interview on The Mental Illness Happy Hour (I bought this audiobook after hearing it). This is DEFINITELY worth a listen to if you suspect you may have experienced emotional neglect (you probably did...)

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Very insightful have yet to read anything on topic

I saw myself in this book, it was very revealing for me and helped my understand why i am the way i am and what my upbringing had to do with it. Recommend it to anyone who may have been emotionally neglected as a child.

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  • Sara Beth Wade
  • 2017-08-10

long on diagnosis, short on solutions

Really good book for those of us who are trying to deal with our childhood issues, and it's always very validating and strengthening to understand better the conditions and causes of unmet needs, but there's not a whole lot of follow up to that. No real way forward into making yourself full again, to retrain, or re-parent yourself into more abundant life.

39 people found this helpful

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  • KIC
  • 2019-01-16

Trigger warning for eating disorders

The first part of Running on Empty was hugely validating, and I experienced it as a big relief. It helps me to understand what happened to me and my sister, what happened to our parents in addition to the abuse we know they experienced, and why they were unable to meet our needs, or cope with one disabled / high-needs sibling. Many of the examples she used were things that *literally happened to me*. It helps me quite a bit to have words and names to describe what I experienced, and why it had an impact. I can now understand that I was raised with / by authoritarian parents, with a disabled / high-needs sibling - two family dynamics that tend to create environments for emotional neglect.

I really wish the therapists I had seen over the past twenty years had been educated in emotional neglect and hidden psychological abuse. It has been so frustrating to present with symptoms of trauma, but not be able to point to enough significant traumatic incidents. I feel like this book has provided a map for the path I've been walking my whole life.

...Except for the second section. Between the robotic narrator (speed up your playback to 1.25x it helps a bit) and the new years resolution style "change sheets" I suggest you manage your expectations for the "overcoming childhood neglect" section. I think the authour is excellent at observation and understanding family dynamics, but is frankly rather useless at giving advice in a book. She did say the reader should take a "buffet" approach and take only what is useful to them, but there was nothing here that your average life coach or self help book or facebook meme hasn't already covered many times.

Frustratingly, as I'm recovering from an eating disorder which I developed in part because of messages perpetuated in the advice part of this book, the authour suggested things like, "Practice resisting three things a day, such as not eating a piece of chocolate cake." She qualified that a bit, but it's a ludicrous statement. You don't simply resist an impulse to eat anything once, or three times in a day. That's not how diets work, that's not how deprivation works, and that's not how healing disordered eating works either. No matter where you are from any kind of eating disorder, this is terrible advice. If you have been depriving yourself through dieting by internalizing messages like those in this book that suggest if you're overweight, it's because you've been eating to self-soothe for the love you didn't receive, therefore in order to be healthy you should replace "emotional eating" almost entirely with other "healthy habits". If you don't understand why this is harmful, I suggest you start with the podcast, "Food Psych" by Christy Harrison.

It doesn't get really bad until the second section of the book, so even if you do have an eating disorder, I still recommend this book and strongly suggest you skip the second section, or at least skip the sections on eating, exercise, and self-discipline. No one knows self-discipline like an eating disorder veteran, and again, any "healthy habits" book would suggest you document changes you're trying to make in your life. Frankly, the sections on rest and self care were ridiculous too. Rest when you need it - but don't rest too much! Come on. Any depression-veteran has had every well-meaning person in their life tell them to rest and exercise. It's the generic advice for everything from period cramps to major life transitions to grief management.

Instead, the book "Healing from hidden psychological abuse" has practical, more actionable advice, and does not imply your internal suffering is simply solved over time through forced behavior changes tracked with "change sheets". "Healing from hidden psycological abuse" is also safe for those recovering from eating disorders, as it never states nor implies changing your weight or eating habits is simply a matter of willpower.

I give the first section of this book 5 stars. It's set me on the road to understanding myself and my family dynamics.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Rob B
  • 2015-11-14

Epiphany

Dr. Webb described my symptoms perfectly. And also my childhood perfectly. Like the white space in a painting, it's not what happened, but rather what didn't happen. Having this knowledge will help me to create and plan treatment. Thank you Dr. Webb!

26 people found this helpful

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  • Max B. Misch
  • 2015-09-22

Little Lee Lee~ pretty powerful

I listened to this book twice. And will listen to it again. So much information. A lot of insight as to why as adults we feel so empty, scared, lost and lonely. Even though we have children, a husband and friends.
We were emotionally neglected at such a critical time.
I cry uncontrollably almost every day. I'm 48 years old and just now able to start breaking through to the real pain. It's a horrible feeling to have SADNESS all of the time. But through therapy and books like this one I am beginning to put the painful pieces together.
I would highly recommend this book.
Lisa

35 people found this helpful

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  • Purposeful
  • 2016-08-03

Good book with somewhat robotic sounding narrator

I loved the content and it's great for therapist use. It was difficult to listen to this narrator. It was similar to listening to Siri trying to narrate a book which is the reason I left off one star overall

46 people found this helpful

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  • T.L.
  • 2019-09-09

Unnatural narration distracts from the content.

I cannot comment on the content of this book because the narrator distracts too much from the content for me to get passed the first chapter. Her voice is lovely, but the narrator is merely reading the words on the page without grasping the point of what is being read. This leads to a disconnect between her tone, pace, emphasis and that which would be expected if the author read the book.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Marilyn
  • 2015-12-08

If you need solutions don't buy this book

Would you try another book from Jonice Webb, PhD and Christine Musello, PsyD and/or Karen White?

No. This book did not deliver as promised.

What could Jonice Webb, PhD and Christine Musello, PsyD have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

More information should have been given on recovery. To much information was given about the problem. I know the problem that is why I purchased the book. I was seeking ways to overcome the issues caused not read a bunch of case studies about the issue.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Lol! The voice of the narrator only made it worst.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. But not because of what was written. I was disappointed by the promise of help that was not delivered.

Any additional comments?

When I purchased this book I was looking for direction on how to handle the fallout of emotional neglect. In stead this book seems to be geared toward people who away looking for affirmation of their neglect. As previously stated, I am aware of the issue, which is why I purchased the book. This book fails to provide comprehensive help and direction. Therefore I will be returning it.

65 people found this helpful

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  • JM
  • 2019-05-26

not real speaker

it's not a real speaker and its horrible to listen and understand, not worth the money

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anne Katona Linn
  • 2016-06-30

life changing!!

This book was the aha moment that I've been looking for my whole life! It explains me to a tee! Great strategies and support for healing. Thank you!

4 people found this helpful

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  • TR
  • 2016-06-01

great content, annoying voice.

the author nails it on the head, getting to the root of most common conditions. I'll recommend this to anyone. the lady reading the book sounded so raspy and cold that I had to listen to it sped up just to get through it. I'm buying the hard copy to re-read just to avoid that whiny dogmatic voice and because it's a great book.

7 people found this helpful