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Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression Paperback – 2 Feb 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747572453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747572459
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Down-to-earth, honest, sometimes painful, often moving ... What stands out is the book's tone: its honesty, its wisdom and its courage' Daily Telegraph 'Brave and honest ... It must have been terribly painful to write it. But, golly, am I glad that Sally Brampton did' Independent 'Brampton's obsessively honest, angry account ... aims to explode the myth that depression happens only to losers ... This brave and moving memoir challenges all the cliches about mental illness ... All who know the pain of depression will find the book immensely useful, and so will their friends and relations' Sunday Times 'She writes of her despair with such fluidity and lyricism' Observer

About the Author

Sally Brampton began her career on Vogue before moving to the Observer as fashion editor. She launched Elle in the UK, which she edited for five years, leaving to write full time. She has published several novels, a television documentary and a screenplay, and has written extensively for all the major national newspapers and magazines. She writes a weekly column on emotional issues for the Sunday Times. She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Victoria Stokes on 21 May 2009
Format: Paperback
i first read this book 18 months ago whilst in the deepest darkest pit of my depression, this booked helped me beyond words and it gave me comfort and help and relief that i was not alone.

i am currently re-reading this excellent, truthful, honest book as i am again within my darkest pit.

i can not explain why this book helps except to say that it is real, it is honest and it helps me beyond words. i have purchased 2 further copies for my families, as they do not understand and the book says it all.

thank you sally for having the courage and the words to write this book.
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140 of 145 people found the following review helpful By eamo on 22 Jan. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have just finished sally's book and found it truely amazing. In fact i bawled my eyes out after reading the first few chapters when i realised her story was so like mine (and my family) and others who suffer from this truely terrifying disease. Like Sally herself, my brother had tried to kill himself recently. Thankfully, mercifully, i was never that ill.
The beauty with Sally's account is she just tells her story just as it is, and in total honesty, which is very brave. I commend her for standing up to the stigma, fear and ignornace that is out there about depression.
I love the way Sally offers some meaningfull tips and advice on how one can perhaps better cope with the disease on a day to day basis.She offers none of the usual patronising miracle cures which other so called 'experts' have often written about.

You must read this book if you know anybody who suffers from this 'black dog' or if you are a sufferer yourself. At first i was afraid to read it, but now i am so, so, glad that i did.
Truely immense.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jo Haigh on 30 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
As a community psychiatric nurse and also a sufferer from recurrent depressive disorder, I would highly recommend this book. I was able to identify with so much of it and the pain and hurt that Sally went through. Despite knowing and agreeing with the theoretical side of depression and the very useful educational aspects of the book, it was so human and so real and helped me to stop blaming myself. I am just as vulnerable as my patients and this book gave me great insight into myself. Sally is a wonderful and brave individual and it must have been very hard to revisit such a painful part of her history - I admired her strength and courage to face her demons and so pleased that her outcome is a positive and happy one. Well done Sally.

For either sufferers of depression or relatives and friends of sufferers this is a must read. It tackles this taboo subject with sensitivity and patience. It rids the reader of any stigma and is well worth every penny. I have passed it on to my best friend and also will be recommending it to colleagues and patients and their relatives. You can get better from depression - there is a light at the end of that dark tunnel, this book helps you find the tunnel.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By a reader on 31 May 2009
Format: Paperback
A friend who is interested in mental health issues recommended this to me. I've worked in General Practice in the UK for 15 years and found this direct, unsentimental, honest and raw account of the experience of depression and alcoholism informative and, at times, intensely moving. This should be required reading for all health professionals and may also be very helpful for sufferers and their family and friends. Brampton is rightly angry about the stigma attached to depression and talks of her relief when she is finally told she is 'ill'. She is realistic and pragmatic as she explores, in an accesible way, some current ideas about the causes of depression as well as suggesting a number of helpful approaches towards coping with, and ultimately conquering, this awful illness. I found her journalistic style grated a bit to begin with but soon became absorbed in her story. The book is well referenced and also has a useful list of supplementary reading/useful websites.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. A. Gordon on 11 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must for anyone coping with depression, or living with someone who suffers from it.
Sally Brampton is painfully honest in her book, and you can really feel you get to know her warts and all.
I dont suffer from depression myself, but I have a huge interest in mental health and this read was both informative and enlightening.
I cannot recommend this book enough.
Get a copy I bet you will want to reread it.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an important and powerful book. It treats what is often a taboo and misunderstood subject with a rare combination of knowledge, sensitivity and understanding, which flow from the author's direct personal experience. It is also a very brave book. To have the courage to describe an illness which often causes a stigma to be attached to the people who suffer from it - for the sake of promoting a wider understanding of depression - makes this an admirable book worthy of reading.

Sally Brampton writes a weekly column on relationship issues in the Sunday Times Style Section. For anyone not familiar with her work, Ms. Brampton is an extraordinarily perceptive and insightful 'agony aunt' with an uncanny ability to get to the heart of the matter in any situation. That she should apply her talents as a writer to providing such a frank and open account of her own journey through depression will help many people cope with what is a horrible and debilitating illness.

The author's style is both engaging and accessible. She is a brilliant communicator. But what makes 'Shoot the damn dog' such an effective 'self-help' book is the graphic descriptions of the pain and despair she felt. If you suffer from depression, it will help you see that you are not alone. More important, you'll find it is a source of hope and encouragement. Ignore criticisms of the technical content. These are important in self diagnosis. In particular, the Beck Depression Inventory and American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are important tools in objectively assessing whether you need help, (see Wikipedia for more info on these).

I read this book because my wife is suffering from depression. I didn't realize it at first.
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