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

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Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression + Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong (3rd Edition): Volume 3 (Overcoming Common Problems)
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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 (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,750 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

145 of 150 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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66 of 68 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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50 of 53 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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By E. Kingston on 6 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nina C on 9 May 2009
Format: Paperback
I read this book shortly before a member of my family suffered an acute pscyhotic episode and it really helped me, not only to help him (something I find very hard because it tears my heart out), but also to remain patient with members of the medical profession who, as Sally so vividly highlights, do not always appreciate that mentally ill is not the same as being:

(a) stupid
(b) a failure in life and;
(c) hearing impaired

One of the things Sally said that really struck a chord was that people she knew would not hesitate to send cards and flowers if she had the flu but would not think it appropriate to send gifts and would stay away if the illness was psychiatric. It made me realise that just making your presence and your love felt can make such a difference to someone in desperate straits. Like Sally my relative is a glamorous, high octane charmer; I always think the thing that will kill him is his ability to articulate what is happening to him - it blinds doctors to his terrible pain and need. Like Sally he loves words and will question the more facile aspects to treatment with a fluency and cogency that can actually seem threatening to professionals despite him being at his vulnerable.

One more personally applicable aspect to Sally's book that I took away with me was the duty that we all have to stay sane. As someone that sometimes has to care for someone when they are ill I have resolved to try everything that she has suggested in order to stay on top of things; as many of them help me too (yoga, acupuncture, finding the right drug/therapist, walking, gratitude). Obviously everyone will have their own methods and it can be as discipline in itself.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 27 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Finally a book I can relate to!

I do suffer from depression and find this book inspiring and useful to see there is a way to get through life!

Sally writes with honesty and factually about the illness and offers really useful personal advice, with a little light humour thrown in.

I am particually impressed that she writes through experience, which is what attracted me to the write up I saw in a magazine.

This is a book I would recommend to anyone suffering from any form of depression. Enjoy, learn and know you can do 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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