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Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression (2008)

by Sally Brampton

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230992,929 (4.01)5
A successful magazine editor and prize-winning journalist, Sally Brampton launched Elle magazine in the UK in 1985. But behind the successful, glamorous career was a story that many of her friends and colleagues knew nothing about--her ongoing struggle with severe depression and alcoholism. Brampton's is a candid, honest telling of how she was finally able to "address the elephant in the room," and of a culture that sends the overriding message that people who suffer from depression are somehow responsible for their own illness. She offers readers a unique perspective of depression from the inside that is at times wrenching, but ultimately inspirational, as it charts her own coming back to life. Beyond her personal story, Brampton offers practical advice to all those affected by this illness.--From publisher description.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
The beginning of the book is a tough read. It's a thick mucky quagmire groping in darkness through a labyrinth without direction or any desire for that matter.
Once the author begins discussion of her childhood the book becomes more clear and is easier to read.
Pg. 190 Emotions/memories don't always have language and sometimes settle in our bodies: a knot in the stomach, a pain in the neck.
Pg. 217 "Any drug that creates dependency is addictive. Any medicine that creates withdrawal that extreme should be classified as a class A drug."
I don't know what a class A drug is, but it makes me wonder about the chemicals in our foods.
pg. 245 She writes about crying in a public park, sometimes trying to hide it and sometimes not. I wonder if someone ever asked if they could assist her, or if she needed help or just a hug? I couldn't imagine seeing someone crying as she described and not approaching them. She concluded, "after an hour of fast walking, I always feel better." Of course that would be her changing the chemicals in her body, i.e. endorphins.
pg. 251 "American term 'our issues are in our tissues' was something I'd never heard before, but makes sense. Our emotions and or old unresolved feelings can cause neck pain, or a back ache or a throat monster, (which is what she had).
pg. 271 'Tired is not a feeling. It is a physical state. How are you feeling?' asked a therapist to another woman. I disagree with this. One can be mentally exhausted.
pg. 287 Alcoholism is not a disease.
pg. 291 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe "Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it."
pg. 299 Low levels of vitamin B12 are often linked to higher incidences of depression.
pg. 307 Kindness of strangers goes a long way.
pg. 309 "When we think about how other people are feeling, we stop concentrating so hard on ourselves. By thinking outside ourselves, we also stop thinking about how life isn't giving us happiness and how we might give a little happiness to life."
I'm happy that Sally is doing better and she was able to write this book. ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
This is a tough read, particularly if you have depression yourself, so raw and exposed that I often had to take it in little chunks, but it is extremely inspiring. I honestly couldn't believe that Brampton survived her severe depression, but seeing her come out the other side--and hearing all the things that worked (and didn't work) for her--are invaluable for anyone who is going through something similar. ( )
  sturlington | May 21, 2018 |
This memoir of the bleakest form of severe depression was a tough read in places, and the author sometimes came across rather unsympathetically, but this reflects the brutal and uncompromising reality that she experienced over a period of a few years, that caused a very successful magazine editor to become incapable of reading, writing, or even living rather than existing. My own depression has, mercifully, never been this severe, but I recognised the traits of hopelessness and emotional numbness. A difficult but important read. ( )
1 vote john257hopper | Nov 27, 2015 |
This book was excellent. I highly recommend it for people suffering with depression. For me, it was equally useful (wow, I guess I really *am* depressed, I should start taking this seriously) and terrifying (wow, I guess I really *am* depressed, this is kind of scary). It's good to know that others have been there and lived to tell the tale. ( )
  lemontwist | Mar 9, 2014 |
Excellent memoir that explains how a clinically depressed person feels, see the world, deal with the surroundings and trying everything to get better. Reading this, I felt that I am not a hopeless case because there are some people out there who are sharing this sufferings. It makes me understand what I am going through, accept what I am suffering from and slowly, patiently find my own path to get better. ( )
  parvita | Jun 17, 2013 |
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A successful magazine editor and prize-winning journalist, Sally Brampton launched Elle magazine in the UK in 1985. But behind the successful, glamorous career was a story that many of her friends and colleagues knew nothing about--her ongoing struggle with severe depression and alcoholism. Brampton's is a candid, honest telling of how she was finally able to "address the elephant in the room," and of a culture that sends the overriding message that people who suffer from depression are somehow responsible for their own illness. She offers readers a unique perspective of depression from the inside that is at times wrenching, but ultimately inspirational, as it charts her own coming back to life. Beyond her personal story, Brampton offers practical advice to all those affected by this illness.--From publisher description.

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W.W. Norton

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