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Taming the Black Dog: How to Beat Depression - a Practical Manual for Sufferers, Their Relatives and Their Colleagues [Paperback]

Patrick Ellverton
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 July 2004
This self help manual is for those for whom depression arises from the impact of exceptional circumstances such as childbirth and menopause, commercial and professional failure, accident, grief, divorce or debt as well as for those more permanent owners of the Black Dog.

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Taming the Black Dog: How to Beat Depression - a Practical Manual for Sufferers, Their Relatives and Their Colleagues + Living with a Black Dog + I Had a Black Dog
Price For All Three: 18.85

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  • Living with a Black Dog 5.59
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Product details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: How To Books (30 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857039998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857039993
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 13.5 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'Compelling reading.' -- Amelie Mustapha, Depression Alliance

From the Inside Flap

'I have reviewed many books of relative merits but never have I reviewed one which I recommend everyone to read, that is until I read TAMING THE BLACK DOG...It talks about depression in everyday language...It never talks down to you...It deals with psychological and physical elements. It is a practical and comprehensive handbook for surviving depression...It is a really helpful book.'
Professor Stuart Kotze holds professorships in Behavioural Psychology at Oxford, Aston and Warwick Universities.

‘This brave and honest book is a dispatch from the front line of depression. Patrick Ellverton deals with the relationship of depression and alcohol consumption head on. Two chapters which I specially recommend are firstly ‘Your emotions’ in which he tackles a notoriously difficult subject with startling lucidity. The second is ‘Helping a Friend’ which also deals with the relationship between the doctor and patient.’
Robert Beaumont of the Charlie Walker Memorial Trust which funds research by GPs into the treatment of depression.

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
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Help when you need it 3 July 2007
This book is not heavy. It is written by a fellow sufferer rather than an academic, and it comes across in a very sympathetic manner that I found easy to relate to.

The book takes you through mental exercises, motivation, exercise, meditation and mentoring. It didn't have all the answers for me, but reading it gave me a big lift when I needed one.

What stops it getting 5 stars? A whole chapter on alcoholism, from which the author suffers. The rest of the book is applicable to any depressive, but I suspect the differences between drink, drugs, gambling, comfort eating etc are sufficient to warrant a change to this chapter.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
If you are suffering from depression, have suffered from depression or know someone suffering from depression, then I recommend this book for you.

Winston Churchill called his depression "the black dog", and this book can really help if you feel that you are overwhelmed by the black dog - or a whole pack of them! Remember that depression is not a personal weakness or failing, rather a debilitating condition that can strike when our systems are overstressed, overtired and overworked - anyone can be a sufferer at any time in their life.

After I received this book I read it in one night as it was so easy to read and full of uplifting ideas. Immediately it offered hope and practical steps to help me move forward at a difficult time in my life. Patrick Ellverton is a fellow sufferer and his book offers practical, light-hearted advice in an very readable and non-technical style. He doesn't offer any advice about medication, however, although there are many other texts about this if you want more info.

If you are suffering from depression I would recommend this book in conjunction with "Overcoming Depression" by Paul Gilbert, which contains a self-help CBT approach* (please see below for more detail) and goes into more practical detail and exercises. Both these books were recommended to me by a therapist from the Priory and I hope these will help you too. Together these books can help you gain insight into problem areas such as perfectionism, shame, anger, and aggression, and how these areas can become exacerbated by depression.

My only extra comment would be that if you are currently suffering from depression, please do not just buy this book, but do consult a professional as well.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is a future 13 May 2009
This book was recommended to me by a psychiatric nurse. It is fantastic, full of bite size chunks to easily digest and loads of practical activities to take part in.
It suggests some basic changes in one's outlook to life and the activities suggested are a foundation to make change happen. I can't praise this book enough, I have to admit I was sceptical but I was proven wrong.
The book arrived in a matter of 48hours from Amazon so I was able to get straight on with it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Help 26 Oct 2009
Extremely good book to work through for sufferers, very informative, and a good insight into depression for families dealing with someone with depression.
Would recommend.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A small ray of light into relieving depression 13 Jun 2010
By K. Hill
Going through a bout of depression and not wanting to let this overtake me, I bought this book as I had seen it recommended elsewhere. It is easy to read and it has quite a few worthy pointers that I have used to help challenge my depression.

Overall though I found I had to put the book down several times as the tone of the book became authoritative and preacher-like. I dislike being "told" you must do this, this and this or you will not get better. Many things will work for some but not others. As noted in a previous review, there are many references to alcohol dependence, which isn't relevant to me, and this is harped on about in other chapters as well.

Overall, some good pointers but I wouldn't rely on it alone, and I would recommend using these self help books in conjunction with a GP, counsellor or Well Being team, that would be able to assist in the tasks and be there to discuss some of the issues that may arise from the self reflection activities.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars taming the black dog 11 Feb 2012
By Stevie
Excellent insight on what Depression is all about and ways to understand and deal with it on a day to day basis
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Dog 8 Sep 2011
I found this book very helpful with my bouts of anxiety and depression.It uses common sense and humour and is written by someone who has actually'been there'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good enough 15 April 2014
By Alex
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ok felt a little unhappy when I read most people with depression don't need counselling .... WRONG . How can a book recommend by therapist and professional alike rubbish the support and insight gained from therapy.
Along side this there is a small amount of religious reference that could be removed ..( not that I'm anti religion)
Did the author forget mindfulness ? Some solutions were unrealistic or a little patronising e.g. loose weight drink less exercise more ...hum
I had looked forward to a book I could recommend but not so sure .. the one positive part is its written in plain English . I have to say only read this book while your getting proper support or if your struggling to understand depression .
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally a practical, step by step plan to help combat depression
I bought this book because a friend suggested it as a step by step guide to combatting depression. And it is that! Read more
Published 1 month ago by L. Robertson
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
This was recommended to me but was not quite what I expected. Some sound advice but a bit patronising I found.
Published 2 months ago by Billy
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
I Bought this at the same time as "Living with a black dog & I had a black dog" and it helped me to understand a little more about depression and how people feel who suffer... Read more
Published 4 months ago by C/B
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read if you are affected by depression
Great book. Brought for my friend. He found it very useful. He felt it was very reassuring that he could relate to the book.
Published 5 months ago by Emma Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Hints for those who despair
This book is a life-line when faced with the sadness of mental health problems and feeling that there is no solution within reach.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. M. L. Mather
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable helper.
This book contains many really useful tips for example planning your day and ensuring that you are not socially excluded. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sunny
5.0 out of 5 stars Taming the Black Dog Patrick Ellverton
Currently looking into working within this area and I am reading up on lots of different literature to gain an insight into this debilitating illness. Read more
Published 9 months ago by jumbo5276
5.0 out of 5 stars black dog
thought it was a very good guide line to depression, bought it for my sister to help her understand a bit more.would reccomend to people coping with depression
Published 11 months ago by marlenehudson
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time
Errr!!! i'm still depressed...what a load of crap this turned out to be, save your money and phone the samaritains.
Published 12 months ago by Zibby The Lad
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick helpful read
I raced through this book and find my self thinking about its suggestions. On the whole I found it quite useful, but only time will tell
Published 12 months ago by JARD
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