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410 of 412 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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book - lousy audio
My review is of the AUDIO version - the book is very useful and informative and has taught me much that I didn't know about the disease of depression - particularly the fact that it is a physical illness.

The audio version is very poor: the narrator has the most irritating and patronising manner that I simply cannot listen to despite being massively interested...
Published on 27 Nov 2010 by Stair


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410 of 412 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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186 of 187 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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145 of 148 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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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Book, Marvelous Advise A Life Saver, 15 Oct 2006
By 
Carole Doherty (Surrey UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book is excellent, because it made me feel that I was not going mad, but just very stressed out, which led me to being depressed! . A few months ago, something inside me just cracked and I was unable to cope with anything or anyone anymore! This book as thought me that my problem is quite simply a physical one, that part of my brain which had been so overloaded with stress for so long, blew a fuse inside my head! Since then I have been following this books advise, and I'm a lot more informed about my condition which is such a great help in understanding my problems! I feel like the book was written for me, as I can identify with so much of it, and I am sure it will be a huge help to many others whom also live a stressful life! Many Thanks to the Author Tim Cantopher you saved me, and to my doctor who suggested that I read your book!
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83 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice for new or veteran sufferers, 4 Mar 2003
By 
P. WHITE "whitepk" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Having suffered from clinical depression for many years, I have read many books on the subject, both of the 'self-help' and more academic variety. In terms of the former category this is without doubt the most useful I have read so far. It is fully of practical advice and reassuring information which would be particularly useful to new sufferers of the condition or their friends and families. It would also be a good book for those who feel they might be suffering from a depressive illness but are unsure; the way the subject matter is broached would, I feel, be likely to reassure or guide rather than inspire fear or 'hypochondriac' tendencies.
Having earlier placed this book in the 'self-help' category, I do not mean to suggest that it doesn't have information I have otherwise only read in 'academic' texts (on medication, for example) - it does. The difference is that technical terms are de-mystified and the variety of treatments available discussed in clear and easily-understandable language.
The book is so well-written that I actually ENJOYED reading it. For this kind of text I feel that is the ultimate praise.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, 21 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong (Kindle Edition)
The printed version has 110 reviews at the time of writing this. For anyone who has experienced stress induced depression, this is a book you need to read. I was immune to depression, or so I thought. After loosing my job suddenly, with no warning, I discovered that physically and mentally I was in a place I had never been before, a dark and painfull place. Never shy to look for help, I sought medical advice fast. I am glad I did.

Why had this happened? How could this happen to me? why were there no warning signs over the past 30 years (or were there signs)?

This book will give you the answers. This is a physical illness and no one is immune. The tough, dedicated achievers out there could be particularly vulnerable. So if you have suffered, are suffering, or are concerned that you might be at risk of suffering stress induced depression, buy this book.
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100 of 103 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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Amazon Customer (UK) - See all my reviews
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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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20 of 20 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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45 of 46 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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Human, 6 Sep 2007
By 
H. J. Lucas (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the view of a Psychiatrist, a medical person but it is written in a human way, factual content but a caring and supportive approach peppered with humour (look out for the true story in the section on side effects!). A reader friendly approach to a scientific topic. I thought it was great.
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