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Underneath the Lemon Tree: A Memoir of Depression and Recovery Paperback – 15 Mar 2012


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Underneath the Lemon Tree: A Memoir of Depression and Recovery + 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: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (15 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408703785
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408703786
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.4 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

So startling, so inspiring (Chris Cleave Twitter)

An ode to joy lost and found . . . A lyrical account of his descent into, and gradual emergence from, the horrors of clinical depression . . . "What did I have to be depressed about?" he asks. His book is a quest to find the answer (Cherrill Hicks Daily Telegraph)

A bruised, bracing memoir (Christopher Bray Financial Times)

With candour for himself and compassion for others, Rice-Oxley becomes his own case study (Iain Finlayson The Times)

Book Description

A moving and spellbinding memoir of depression by Guardian journalist Mark Rice-Oxley

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Keatsbabe on 9 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Guardian journalist Mark Rice-Oxley seemed to have, on the face of it, a great life. Work, family, friends. However, in this brutally honest book he takes us through the 'breakdown' he experienced and his depressive illness stage by stage and we appreciate how mental illness can literally strike anyone at any time - even when you seem to have it all. Much of what he says reflects my own experience of depression and anxiety - the lethargy, hopelessness, fear and horror of it all - but it really doesn't matter whether you have 'been there' at all. It is written in a lyrical tone that oozes love for his parents, siblings, wife and children and highlights how vital it is to be open about the illness to get the support you desperately need to recover. He is writing not just for himself but to raise awareness and try and do what he can to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues.

He also highlights how difficult it must be for those, unlike him (and me), who have no-one just to be there. No-one has expressed more eloquently how it feels to be mentally ill in comparison to being physically ill and how much more difficult it is to talk about depression than it is to talk about heart disease or cancer. It has taken over from the 'c' word as the new taboo. Everyone should read this. Mental illness can happen to anyone. Mark Rice-Oxley is the living proof.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By withwill on 27 April 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book and incredibly helpful. It's funny,moving and brave; full of honest insight.

I would imagine anyone with depression would benefit from reading this book (I read it in conjunction with Tim Cantopher's excellent 'Depressive illness:curse of the strong'. Both have helped me to have some hope, reassure me that I am not alone with my illness and that what I am experiencing is felt by many many others.

This book helps to challenge stereotypes and stigma, reminding us that telling others is the best way to help ourselves and help others.

It describes the true horror of depression, the sinking loneliness, the dark moments of despair, the relentless feelings of loss. Any yet it also tells us that people can and do recover from depression, and for that I am deeply thankful to Mark Rice Oxley.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Toni on 16 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading this book, which is a great personal achievement in itself. As happened to the author, Mark Rice-Oxley, when my "thing" descended I lost the ability to read, to listen to music, to be with people, to eat, sleep, in fact any motivation to enjoy anything about life at all. Mark manages to capture the pain, internal loneliness and bleakness of this cruel and debilitating illness, whilst maintaining the optimism that it will not last forever. It is not a melancholy book; there is plenty of humour and much to learn from it. I am glad the book came along at this point in my recovery, where I am beginning to accept and deal with my own "thing". Although everybody's experience of depression is different, I found myself identifying with so many of Mark's words, and also with his comments on the stigma surrounding mental illness. I have found this book informative, personally helpful, and a good read. Now, where did I put that recipe for low-calorie cheesecake!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Anna on 26 Mar. 2012
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Mark Rice-Oxley's book really stands out amongst the myriad depression memoirs currently in the market - as deeply moving as his elegant, honest descriptions of his despair at the peak of his depression are, what really shines is his clear intelligence and practicality on the road to recovery, and his desperate desire to get better. As someone who has battled with depression, with a pang I recognised myself in so many passages of what the author describes, and as much as it ached to read it must have hurt so much more to write. A brilliantly written, inspiring and important book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Karen on 27 April 2012
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I purchased the book to understand more about depression. I now have a greater awareness of what true depression is and have much more empathy for sufferers. It is a very well written documentation of one man's journey through the illness to recovery. It also introduced me to some very interesting approaches to dealing with certain aspects of the condition that may benefit sufferers and non sufferers alike. This book points a sobering finger at perhaps how susceptible we all are in our fast paced, achievement-driven lives and how indiscriminate depression is.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By timv on 29 April 2012
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Mark has exposed his soul to the reader with clear and concise English. I heard him talking about his depression on Radio 2 and ordered the book as soon as I got home. Also in a slow recovery from depression, I have flagged up dozens of pages in his book which have a direct read across for me. I learned a lot from his book and, when reading, you can tell that Mark learned a lot about himself through the struggle to recovery. A must read for people with depression and for people who's friends and family have depression. Tim
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Black Dog on 11 May 2012
Format: Paperback
To say I enjoyed this, excellent, book might be a step too far. I found the author's frank account of the descent, anxiety and internal wrestling struck too many chords with parts of my own experience for this to be a truly comfortable read. Fortunately this is counter balanced with the easy charm and charisma of the writing.

This book serves as a reminder that this disease doesn't need a set of obviously traumatic antecedents, doesn't care that you objectively 'have it all'. It can still, if it chooses to, grab you, drag you into a dark alley and give you proper hiding.

But also, vitally, that it IS possible to climb out of the pit.
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