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465 of 468 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We shall overcome
Pull yourself together, just pick yourself up and get on with it, what could possibly be wrong with you, there are far worse off people in the world and they're not depressed !! I've had all these things said to me while I literally fought to stay alive. And the battle to survive is no exaggeration for depression is a life threatening illness. Depression is a lonely...
Published on 6 April 2009 by Foxylock

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good book for those who just wish to understand the ...
This book starts out with sympathy and understand that you may never have experienced before. The problems begin when it gets to the recovery stage. This so called expert seems to be promoting anti depressants as though he is being paid by the manufacturers. Its anti depressants or nothing! I was expecting a more balanced view and was left feeling cheated. I can get that...
Published 4 months ago by Sharon.


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465 of 468 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We shall overcome, 6 April 2009
Pull yourself together, just pick yourself up and get on with it, what could possibly be wrong with you, there are far worse off people in the world and they're not depressed !! I've had all these things said to me while I literally fought to stay alive. And the battle to survive is no exaggeration for depression is a life threatening illness. Depression is a lonely isolated place where the inhabitants just waste away with the life being sucked out of them by this most horrid of illnesses.

Tim Cantopher has a fine book here he purports that depression almost exclusively strikes a particular type of person and that is the morally strong, reliable, diligent but vulnerable to criticism and sensitive types. So what happens to this type of person when they become depressed ? They try to work their way out of it and continually beat themselves up for feeling the way they feel. How does Cantopher visualise a recovery ? Rest, take the time off your body needs to heal, you wouldn't try walking on a broken leg so treat your mind in a similar fashion. Depression takes away our energy so accept that we can't do the things we once could or attain the same high standards. Lets not be hard on ourselves, we need rest to aid our progress. And we will make progress however slow it may seem, gradually we will get back on track.

This is one of the better books I've read on depression, it's clear, concise and easily digested which is essential when concentration levels are down. The chapter on recovery is fantastic and the advice given throughout is excellent. The only negative for me was the author's remarks on anti-depressants, he appeared a little dogmatic and would give no time to those who have reservations about taking medication with such a wide ranging list of potential side affects. As someone with personal experience of this I found it a bitter pill to swallow ( pardon the pun ) However as a book on depression and how to tackle it this book is excellent. Add this to your arsenal of self-helpery and you will find it useful. But above all don't lose hope even when you're wearing the cloak of despair, choose light and life it's what I did and although life can be harsh it's worth living. Best of luck and take care.
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227 of 229 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the single most informative, eye-opening and shockingly revealing information, 28 Oct. 2009
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This book is the single most informative, eye-opening and shockingly revealing information I have ever read about depression. The information Dr Cantopher provides should be taught in senior schools, to medical professionals and even published in tabloids (using his words, not theirs though). Some GPs really need to read this book.

Understanding the illness is the only way to accept it, learn and move forward, and that is exactly what this book is about - teaching you the facts of depression and destroying the myths that most people hold about the illness - `anti-depressants are addictive, they are bad for you, they make you worse....you just need to pull yourself together....cheer yourself up....snap out of it.....get on with it....you are just being weak, you need to be stronger.... We don't realise; neither do those who are trying to be helpful; that Depression is a physical illness. Yes - a PHYSICAL illness. "It is every bit as physical as pneumonia or a broken leg". In depression, the bit that's broken is called the `Limbic System'. The book explains very eloquently how and why this is a physical illness, the physical symptoms experienced and why it needs to be treated as such.

Ready for the next big shock: - only STRONG people are at risk of developing depression. This physical illness does not develop out of the blue, or caught like a cold; it develops after prolonged periods of pushing yourself too hard, and/or experiencing a major life-event or series of life-events. Everyone who has had, or will have depression shares something in common - a conscientious personality, with a drive to keep going and never giving up. Weak/lazy people never get up and get started, average people have the ability to say - stop, enough is enough; but the highly conscientious don't know when to quit until it's too late, then depression sets in and everything falls apart.

This book gives you your sanity back by explaining exactly what is wrong with you and how you can move forward towards recovery. I cannot find any internet resources about depression that provide this level of detail, or this informative. Once you have read this, you will agree; `depression' is a stupid name for this debilitating illness- it really should be called `Limbic Disorder'. If you are suffering from depression; don't just read this book - pass it round all your friends and family and ask them to read it too. Together we can destroy the myths, the insults to our capability, and re-educate people who think depression is just about feeling depressed......
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You could not do better than to buy this book., 19 Mar. 2005
By A Customer
This book (by a psychiatrist who specialises in the treatment of depression caused by stress) is excellent both from the point of view of helping those suffering from this illness and from the point of view of those trying to support them through it. The book emphasises the physical characteristics of the illness, examines its causes and treatment options and provides a positive prognosis. More than this, it forces the reader to examine the types of behaviour and personality traits (such as perfectionism, or trying to work at 100% or more all of the time) that may have contributed to the illness. If you or somebody you know suffers from depression, you could not do better than to buy this book. It is manageable in volume, readable in its style, insightful in its analysis and, perhaps most importantly, hopeful - yet realistic - in its outlook. The author clearly has intimate knowledge of his subject and demonstrates profound empathy for the millions of people with an illness that he convincingly argues is no more a sign of frailty or failure than, for example, an injured knee.
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105 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone with stress-related depression, 29 Feb. 2008
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This book has revolutionised the way I view myself and my depression.

It's not a self-help book as such. It provides information on stress-related depression, with occasional bits of advice. There are no exercises to complete. Intead, Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong helps you to understand how your illness developed, why you need to be gentle with yourself and what you need to do to get better.

I first became ill with depression after pushing myself too hard during my final year at university. For years, I thought of myself as weak. I struggled to cope with everyday life, was often too depressed to work, and I hated myself for not being able to function like a "normal" human being. Tim Cantopher turned that view of myself on its head. He argues that those who develop stress-related depression are actually hard-working, perfectionistic people with a strong work ethic who burn themselves out. This was very true of me but in the mire of negative thoughts that's part and parcel of depression, I hadn't been able to see it until someone else pointed it out.

Before reading this book, I'd tried many CBT-based self-help books with practical exercises to complete. These were very helpful on one level - challenging negative thoughts makes a huge difference - but on another level they just fed into my perfectionism issues. I always felt like I should be doing more to fight against my depression. I pushed myself too hard and it was a vicious circle.

Since reading this book I've completely changed my approach to depression. I still use CBT, but in moderation, and I make sure I take some time out every day to relax and do something I feel like doing. With the help of medication and a therapist, I've now recovered from depression and am living the life I want to lead.

If I have one criticism of this book, it's that the explanation of how antidepressants work is a little simplistic, and theories are presented as facts. Cantopher stresses the need for medication, which was true in my case, but I'm not sure it's true for everyone. However, even if you're against the idea of drugs, don't let that put you off the book. The rest of it is truly life-changing.
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155 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I needed this book!, 17 Nov. 2004
I have suffered from depression for more years than I care to remember, and was diagnosed 8 years ago. Having read a lot of books about the subject, this is the first one that makes me feel truly "understood". The books told me something I knew, but needed to hear again, like:
Depression is an illness that can be cured.
While it can be triggered by events and psychological factors, depression is essentially a biochemical imbalance.
The difference between clinical depression and "having a bad time" or "feeling blue".
Taking anti-depressants is not an "easy way out", it`s the first step in reclaiming your life.
The book also told me things I didn`t know, like:
Depression typically happens to people with strong characters, people who are very responsible and caring towards others.
Why it`s crucial to give yourself time to heal (so good to know, when you feel guilty about not being able to socialize, go to work etc.). Like the author says: The reason you don`t want to do these things, is that somewhere you know that it will hurt you, not help you, when even getting out of bed is a challenge.
Ways to prevent future episodes by identifying individual triggers, learning to care for yourself and not take on more than you can deal with (actually becoming more selfish!).
Besides being a sufferer, I`m also a psychologist, and I`ll recommend this book to all clients suffering from clinical depression. I really like the way the author "speaks to me": With a sense of humour, a down to earth approach and never condescending. He sound like the psychiatrist from heaven!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, a book that really makes sense, 24 July 2006
During a recent, particularly drawn-out 'depressive episode' (2 months off work and still recovering), I really thought I was losing the plot. Literally had to drag myself down to the library for one last shot at trying to find a book that described how I was feeling. This is that book - it's fantastic. It's so easy to beat yourself up every second of the day when you feel so low, but the author of this book makes it very clear, in plain, simple language, that you really need to look after yourself, accept you feel so blimmin'rubbish, and give yourself the permission to rest and take some time out until you feel ready to face the world again. It's such obvious, natural advice that I wondered why it took reading a book to actually take notice. I thoroughly recommend reading this book, especially as it also bangs on about how generally wonderful, strong and special those who suffer with depression are - not that we didn't know that already! :-)
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spearhead against a Deadly Myth, 23 Nov. 2010
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Irony has such a sick sense of humour...

Depression is seen as a weakness
It is seen to affect those who quit easily
Those who are strong, determined, hard-working and who have a strong will appear to be the least likely to get it
Such people loathe the term 'depression' and would refuse to accept such a title
In fact, such people would fight tooth-and-nail to combat depression

And yet... they are the very people that depression hits hardest...

It is fortunate that we have people like Dr Tim Cantopher fighting the corner of those with depression. In his very well-titled book, he launches a succinct, yet direct attack against the deadly myths which not only perpetuate this crippling disease... but in fact worsen it.

The truth is, he reveals, that depression is not a result of slacking or weakness... quite the contrary... it is a result of pushing yourself too far. It's a result of being too hard working, too strong-willed and too determined to take everything on your own shoulders. He casts a highly unusual light onto this deadly illness - that it comes as a result of strength. How weird it feels... after spending so long viewing depression as a sign of falling behind - that it's actually a result of pushing too far forward. This alone is profound. Suddenly it removes the stigma which causes so many people to run away from it. It comforts them saying "Yes, you're unwell... but this is a result of you working too hard"

Think of it like flooding an electronic product too far, and the fuse goes. It is the same here. Infact, depression could be thought of as a 'Blown Fuse Syndrome'

I really cannot recommend this book enough. It is one of the few titles that doesn't paint depression as a problem to be 'fought'. It doesn't flag it as a state of mind that you just need to 'snap out of' or counter with happy-clappy-tambourine-slappy thinking. The main thing is that it is written in a way that it hits the target audience perfectly. A lot of sufferers will be quick to buy into the idea that depression needs fighting, so they can rid it and get on with their lives. Here, we're told to relax and give ourselves a chance... but it's written in such a way that it feels like it's the strongest thing to do. Depression is given such a profound light, that the very people who suffer from it can finally see it for what it is and accept the help that they've been denying themselves for so long.

It's very approachable too. No long-terms, no complicated scientific jargon... it's short, sharp, sweet and has a few lashings of humour for good taste. Just the ticket.

The question about getting this isn't "Am I depressed?"... but "Am I mentally strong? Do I push myself hard? Am I a perfectionist?". If you are then you might want to consider getting this. - even as a preventative measure.

Now kick back and relax my friends. Recovery has started

Peace
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking the Myth, 17 Aug. 2009
As a recently diagnosed sufferer I wanted to find out as much as I could ( or as much as I could handle ) about this condition . I had heard positive references to this book from other sources including doctors and fellow sufferers . I have found it to be extremely informative without being over-whelming . This is very important for someone with clinical depression as one of the symptoms is a reduced capability to process a great deal of information at any one time . Before reading this book I made a note of all the emotions, feelings and senarios I had been going through over the preceding months and found that they were ALL there in Chapter One, a fact that was as much shocking as it was enlightning . On the very next page the book then proceeds to describe the characteristics that the sufferer will have, i.e. the type of person they will be, as this will nearly always be the same . So by the end of Chapter One I was beginning to understand what was happening and why it was happening to me . The book describes why it happens to the type of person it happens to and gives examples of the senarios that may lead to a person falling ill ( the warning signs ) . The book goes on to explain, in fairly simple terms, the chemical process that leads to the condition and how the various drug treatments work . There are also chapters on possible therapies and techniques to aid recovery .
I have not yet finished reading this book but I have found it to be very comforting and useful during this pretty dreadful, difficult period of my life . One of the most important facts I have learned is that Clinical Depression is a PHYSICAL illness, not a mental one . That fact alone can make an a huge difference to how the sufferer deals with the condition and how their family and friends deal with it .
I have been in some pretty dark places in recent times but this book, although not claiming to be a gauranteed cure, has really been a huge help in me accepting, understanding and ( more importantly ) trying to beat this illness . I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has been diagnosed with clinical depression or thinks that they may have it . I would also recommend it to those closest to the sufferer as it's information will be invaluable if they are intent on helping their spouse, partner, friend or relative through this time .
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what the doctor ordered!, 7 Feb. 2005
I found this book the best help- it had me down to a tee! I was diagnosed with moderate depression in December and was off work for 2 months. With this book (and prescriptions!) I have managed to come to terms with depression without shame, seek help and go back to work. I have to say I feel better now than I did before the diagnosis! I would and have recommended to anyone who feels there is no way out- especially for his "fuse" analogy. Get it!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it and share it with friends and family, 22 Dec. 2008
This was the first and only book which I understood and bought about depression and how it was affecting me. The finality of my diagnosis took me by complete surprise, and took a while to accept as depression was not an illness that had been publicly experienced by any of my close family or friends (although with hindsight and better understanding it had been building for years).
The book felt like it had been written about me, and asking close friends and family to read Chapters 1, 4 and 5 was the best way for me to explain to them how I was feeling when I was so unable to articulate it at the time. It is written in a logical, medical-based friendly way, and explains in a guilt-free manner so that you can understand WHY it has happened, when you are ordinarily an all-cylinder firing, highly organised individual !
I have since bought copies and lent it to others who have been going through rough times, and have had very positive feedback.
Please read it - you are not alone and it may just be the crutch that you need when times are so bleak and frightening. It reassures you that you can recover your control - and will - with some adjustments for the better.
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