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Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression Paperback – 2 Feb 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 223 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747572453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747572459
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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

About the Author

Sally Brampton began her career on Vogue before moving to the Observer as fashion editor. She launched Elle in the UK, which she edited for five years, leaving to write full time. She has published several novels, a television documentary and a screenplay, and has written extensively for all the major national newspapers and magazines. She writes a weekly column on emotional issues for the Sunday Times. She lives in London.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure what this book was going to be when I started reading. I was concerned that it may upset me more that help me. I need not have worried. This is a beautifully written book, which tells a powerfully uplifting story.

The author's decision not to force her book into a linear structure adds an oral story telling quality which, when coupled with direct addresses to the reader, makes the reading of the book more like a conservation with a wiser friend.

This is a book of hope and compassion which I would recommend to anyone who is suffering, or has ever suffered, from depression.
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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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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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Format: Hardcover
Finally a book I can relate to!

I do suffer from depression and find this book inspiring and useful to see there is a way to get through life!

Sally writes with honesty and factually about the illness and offers really useful personal advice, with a little light humour thrown in.

I am particually impressed that she writes through experience, which is what attracted me to the write up I saw in a magazine.

This is a book I would recommend to anyone suffering from any form of depression. Enjoy, learn and know you can do it!
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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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