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Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression [Paperback]

Sally Brampton
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Feb 2009
"Shoot the Damn Dog" blasts the stigma of depression as a character flaw and confronts the illness Winston Churchill called 'the black dog', a condition that humiliates, punishes and isolates its sufferers. It is a personal account of a journey through (and out of) severe depression, as well as being a practical book, offering ideas about what might help. With its raw, understated eloquence, it will speak volumes to anyone whose life has been haunted by depression, as well as offering help and understanding to those whose loved ones suffer from this terrifying condition.

Frequently Bought Together

Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression + Sunbathing in the Rain: A Cheerful Book About Depression + The Devil Within: A Memoir of Depression
Price For All Three: 19.07

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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: 2 x 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my depression 21 May 2009
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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138 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing and brilliant 22 Jan 2008
By eamo
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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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic read 11 Mar 2008
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shoot the damn dog 30 Sep 2010
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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE users guide to depression 29 April 2008
Most sufferers of depression, including me, have read the numerous self-help guides and the "What is.." textbooks for laypeople in attempts to treat themselves, thoroughly inform themselves or to just try to make sense of the world they find themselves in. Although the former two groups get some of their mental fodder from "Shoot the damn dog", I reckon it mostly helps those of us who want to share with someone who's been there. I didn't find this book harrowing or difficult.
Okay, Sally Brompton doesnt represent - and doesnt claim to be - the typical depressive; partly because there is no such person. Each brings their unique past, present and future (hopes) into the illness and needs to deal with that. Sally recognises this but finds some solace in others who have "been there": the black hole, the black dog, the emptiness within or whatever you call depression.
This is a sensible and balanced book. Sally walks a middle path between the "biological" and the "psychoanalytical" camps that set themselves up in the enormous and amorphous field of psychiatry, rarely crossing their carefully drawn boundaries to share knowledge or, god forbid, work together. Sally meets some who have, but I suspect she may be an exception (and exceptional). She advises those who cant get on with a therapist to find another. While acknowledging this can be difficult for a withdrawn depressive, a number of NHS users may not have access to alternative treatments, particularly of the psychological kind, let alone be able to change therapists .
With that caveat, I found this a great book. Its not just a "me too" book, joining the other people who found the courage to "come out". She deals with shame, suicidality, support, friends, family and even fun and laughter. This book should be in every psychiatric ward and, even more than that, it should be on every psychiatrist or psychotherapist's shelf.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautifully touching book 6 April 2008
I wasn't sure what this book was going to be when I started reading. I was concerned that it may upset me more that help me. I need not have worried. This is a beautifully written book, which tells a powerfully uplifting story.

The author's decision not to force her book into a linear structure adds an oral story telling quality which, when coupled with direct addresses to the reader, makes the reading of the book more like a conservation with a wiser friend.

This is a book of hope and compassion which I would recommend to anyone who is suffering, or has ever suffered, from depression.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
helps understanding of people with depression and what to look for and what not to say!
Published 1 day ago by S. F. Ryman
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. IF you have depression or know someone ...
Excellent book. IF you have depression or know someone who does, it would definitely be worth a read.
Published 1 day ago by Vicky
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Sally, a real insight
Thanks Sally, a real insight .
Published 17 days ago by Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, containing a lot of information for sufferers ...
Very good book, containing a lot of information for sufferers and the family/friends who are also involved. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Neisha
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, well-written and is of particular interest to those who have...
A riveting and well-written biography that is particularly useful for anyone who feels their mental health problems originate from their relationship with an Aspergers parent.
Published 1 month ago by Martina Keens-Betts
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I have never written a review before, but this book is so good I felt compelled. I,like Sally am suffering from depression and I have found this book so helpful and empathetic to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Choccylover
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly useful book for understanding depression
As an experienced therapist that works with clients with depression, I still found this book very helpful. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Counsellor T
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as helpful as hoped
Not really a great deal of use to anyone in a psychiatric state or their carer - a little disappointing!
Published 2 months ago by anonofderbyshire
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read
Very open and honest insight to depression - great for people living with those who suffer to try to help understand this demon in your head. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jen
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest account of depression
I found the book inspiring and hopeful that somehow the right treatment may be found for a person suffering from depression.
Published 4 months ago by curley
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