- Hardcover: 244 pages
- Publisher: Ebury Press; First Edition 2nd Impression edition (7 Jan. 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 009177019X
- ISBN-13: 978-0091770198
- Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.4 x 2.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 615,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Depression and How to Survive it Hardcover – 7 Jan 1993
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More About the Author
"Interesting and entertaining" (Times)
"Anyone worried about a depressed friend or relative should read this book" (Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
A self-help book with a difference, this is a revelatory book about the deepest of human emotions and human psychology, experienced by world-famous comedian and star of The Goon Show, Spike Milligan, and revealed by leading psychiatrist and celebrity interviewer Anthony Clare. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I'll start out with a couple of things you *won't* get from this book.
Firstly, the cover gives the impression that Spike had a hand in writing this book. That's not the case. Spike is merely the primary and almost only individual case study. His contribution is via interviews conducted by Clare about Spike's depression. Nevertheless Spike's observations and experiences of suffering bipolar illness are illuminating and, if you suffer from depression, you will be able to relate to them. If you've never suffered depression then his experiences will help you understand how depression feels.
Secondly, do not expect Spike's humour to play a role in the book. There is merely one page where Clare quotes some of Spike's comedy material to make a point about bipolar illness and creativity. Spike's input on the subject of his depression is devoid of laughs. This didn't bother me but I merely warn you that Spike's involvement does not make itself felt through any kind of madcap humour on the subject.
Thirdly, the "how to survive it" subtitle is a little misleading. If you're looking for a self-help book there are plenty of others on the market. This book focuses far more on studies about depression and research into treatments. It is very short on what someone suffering should do in their lives to relieve depression, though it does go into detail about treatments.
On the subject of treatments it is worth recognising that this book was published in 1994. I seem to recall the latest bit of research in the book comes from 1990.Read more ›
Milligan wrote and/or edited many books, including 'Puckoon', and a six-volume autobiographical account of his time serving during the Second World War, beginning with 'Adolf Hitler: My part in his downfall'. He was also a writer of comical verse.
Television director Richard Lester recalls that the television series 'A Show Called Fred' was recorded live. "I've seen very few moments of genius in my life but I witnessed one with Spike after the first show". He had brought around a silent cartoon, and asked Lester if his secretary took shorthand. She said she did. "Good", said Spike, "this needs a commentary". "It was a ten-minute cartoon and Spike could only have seen it once, if that. He ad-libbed the commentary for it and it was perfect. I was open-mouthed at the raw comedy creation in front of me".
Even late in life, Milligan's black humour had not deserted him. After the death of friend Harry Secombe from cancer, he said, "I'm glad he died before me, because I didn't want him to sing at my funeral." Appropriately,a recording of Secombe singing was subsequently played at Milligan's memorial service. He died at the age of 83, on 27 February 2002, and once famously quipped that he wanted his headstone to bear the words "I told you I was ill."
He suffered from severe bipolar depression for most of his life, having at least ten mental breakdowns, several lasting over a year. He spoke candidly about his condition and its effect on his life: "I have got so low that I have asked to be hospitalised and for deep narcosis (sleep). I cannot stand being awake. The pain is too much...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Didn't get past first 5 pages or so. I am not normally given to hating books but this was one of the few!Published 8 months ago by ULM
This is an absolutely brilliant book on depression and a must read for anyone who suffers from this terrible illness. Read morePublished 10 months ago by John R.
Gives impression Spike is more of a feature in this book than he actually is.Published 15 months ago by Essexwoman59
Not so good,hoping it was better than it was.Did not read much as it was not doing the jobPublished 16 months ago by Mr. Ja Hunter
Not bogged down by Psychological terminology. Not humorous as you would expect from Spike, but nonetheless very interesting to read.Published 21 months ago by davidLat Ches
Was well reviewed and will be a source of reference, I hope
Something that perhaps we all ought to know something about
Ordered this book on the strength of recommendation on radio by well known actress. Found it unhelpful and negative -no structure to advice -not much light at the end of the... Read morePublished on 28 Oct. 2012 by JTG