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Shoot the Damn Dog
 
 

Shoot the Damn Dog [Kindle Edition]

Sally Brampton
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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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

Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my depression 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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139 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing and brilliant 22 Jan 2008
By eamo
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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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic read 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars honest, no-nonsense account of severe depression 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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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE users guide to depression 29 April 2008
Format:Hardcover
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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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By Nick D.
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Shoot the Damn Dog
This is a very moving and well-written insight into depression. Sally Brampton's pain is palpable throughout the book and she is very open and honest, never once asking for pity. Read more
Published 4 days ago by StarryNight
3.0 out of 5 stars A great read and real eyeopener
If you find yourself in a similar situation as the author this book helps you to realise that you are not alone.
A great read and real eyeopener!
Published 7 days ago by Florian Hess
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic book highly recommend!
Published 10 days ago by amy
5.0 out of 5 stars Really well written and so easily readable for this non-expert
Really well written and so easily readable for this non-expert. Yes, depressing account of what really happened, well told. She tells it like it is.
Published 17 days ago by J. W. Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and an eye opening read
Fantastic and an eye opening read. Deffently worth reading. I don't know if the author reads these reviews but Sally has saved my life x
Published 19 days ago by Lucy Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Cathartic
I could only face picking up this novel after my father had started to show signs of 'being himself' again after a harrowing breakdown. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Lisa B
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very good book
Published 1 month ago by Deborah Ingham
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a book that says " I understand "
This book was so well written it felt like I was speaking to the author ( sally) over a cup of tea!

It gives a good insight into depression and Sally makes all those... Read more
Published 1 month ago by white cat
5.0 out of 5 stars I counsel many clients with depression and also have family members...
This was an incredibly moving book with so much honesty and ultimate hope. I counsel many clients with depression and also have family members who have suffered - Sally 's memoir... Read more
Published 1 month ago by J
4.0 out of 5 stars Exsellent .....truthfull.... but !
Excellent , well written , clear description of depression. Obviously written from the pits of depression , the book presents, a very sceptical view of Sally herself, and of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by I. A. Peden
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