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I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression Paperback – March 2, 1998

181 customer reviews

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I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression + How Can I Get Through to You? Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women + The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When Terrence Real was studying to be a therapist, he accepted the notion that women suffered depression at rates several times that of men. Now he believes that conventional wisdom is wrong, that there has been a great cultural cover-up of depression in men. Real is convinced of the existence of a mental illness that is passed from fathers to sons in the form of rage, workaholism, distanced relationships from loved ones, and self-destructive behaviors ranging from stupid choices at work and in love to drug and alcohol abuse. Men reading I Don't Want to Talk About It will probably recognize themselves in every chapter, while women will recognize their partners--and, of course, both sexes will see their fathers in a new light.

From Publishers Weekly

Hidden male depression is the focus of this clear, compelling book by a Massachusetts family psychotherapist who specializes in working with dysfunctional men. Because our culture socializes boys to mask feelings of vulnerability, he says, they bury deep within themselves damaging childhood trauma and its ensuing depressive effects when they become men. This strongly reasoned study starts out with an illustration of the "toxic legacy" that is passed, often for generations, from father to son, with each chapter adding another piece to the complex face. The lucid exposition of ideas is made more vivid through dramatizing. Real uses "composite" cases, so no actual person is depicted except the author himself. One of the most arresting aspects of the book is the autobiographical thread that he weaves throughout. Real's central concern is what he calls covert depression, a pain-filled, inchoate state that may or may not eventually erupt into overt depression. The book is wise beyond its stated scope: in setting up a model for the nature, etiology and treatment of male depression, Real ends up offering-with some gender variants-an almost universal paradigm. BOMC, QPB and One Spirit alternates.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (March 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684835398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684835396
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terrence Real is the bestselling author of I Dont Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression and How Can I Get Through to You?: Reconnecting Men and Women. He has been a practicing family therapist for more than twenty years and has lectured and given workshops across the country. In March 2002, Real founded the Relational Empowerment Institute. His work has been featured on NBC Nightly News, Today, Good Morning America, and Oprah, as well as in The New York Times, Psychology Today, Esquire, and numerous academic publications. He lives with his wife, family therapist Belinda Berman, and their two sons in Newton, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Jack Chen on July 6, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Depression is something that can affect anyone, but, for men, it’s usually something they don’t want to admit. I know from firsthand experience that I was unwilling to admit that I was gloomy and pessimistic. Instead of self-help books or psychiatry, I turned to alcohol and even drug abuse for some time. I tried to keep these things away from family, but—whether I was drunk, high, or just depressed—my behavior was never an example I wanted to set for my kids. I came across I Don’t Want to Talk About It a few years ago, and reading it literally made me cry. I never realized how much of an impact I was having on my family and how cowardly I was for not admitting I had a problem and seeking help.

21 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy is another book that I’ve come across that has helped me on my road to recovery. While it doesn’t have the in-depth knowledge about depression that “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” does, it’s a remarkable book for both its simplicity and its effectiveness. The authors, Alvin Huang and Chris D’Cruz, do a great job of identifying things that sort of bog us down. They talk about how negative thinking has a tendency to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re complaining all the time, then only negative things are going to come to pass. It’s more important to look at the positive aspects of any situation.

Without “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” and “21 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy,” I would probably be even more miserable than I was a few years ago. My kids would’ve taken the brunt of my depression. Now, I’m on the road to being a better father, husband, and human being because I got over my masculine inhibition and sought help.
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98 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Mel W on April 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
When I say I suffered in my depression I should say "we" because I dragged a lot of people down with me. I did therapy, read books, took medications. This book helped me, I believe, more than any other single thing that I did.
Mr. Real writes from experience and with knowledge from both sides of the couch. As he composites out and recreates therapy sessions, you, as a depressed man, should see yourself. You can see where you've been and get a preview of where you're going.
Each chapter ends on an upbeat. It does not end on a sappy upbeat. This is no Stuart Smalley book, no pop psychology here. It is a real upbeat, real hope on a deep level. I actually copied paragraphs from this text onto my own paper and carried them along with me.
It takes courage not to be depressed. This book makes this clear. It also makes it abundantly clear that it can be done.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By obediah on July 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a well written book about male depression, filled with case studies that the author has overseen throughout his years as a psychotherapist. The style of prose is easy to read and the book avoids technical jargon.
A distinction is made between covert (or hidden) depression and overt depression - the type which is plain for the world to see. Covert depression in many cases is hidden from the victim himself. The author suggests a strong link between covert depression and addictive behavior.
Although the book was very educational, it left me with an overwhelming feeling of sadness. Case after case after case of abuse, violence, despair and hate leaves the reader with a profound sorrow and a feeling that the world is a terrible place.
Male depression is a "legacy" in the sense that it can be passed down through the generations. In many cases, a father is not able to come to grips with his own psychological afflictions and in turn these manifest themselves in the child when he grows up to be a man.
Male depression can also spring from cultural expectations. Men try to conform to the stereotype of "strong, silent". If a man is an alcoholic or addicted gambler, these are conditions that are seen as curable. However, if a man chooses to discuss his emotions or behaves in a manner which might be considered as feminine, then he is avoided like a leper and socially ostracized.
The book concludes with a powerful message - that it is necessary in life to nurture relationships and have a goal in life that is larger than personal gratification. This is a personal quest on which I am currently embarking.
I have no negative things to say about the book and would highly recommend its purchase!
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
real's book hits home at the tragic legacy of male depression. despite case study after case study which at times makes one wonder whether one is perhaps more depressed than one really is, this book is an excellent first dip into understanding that men are not weak or alone in feeling depression.
i say first dip because it provides no answers but rather will lead you (as it did me) on the terribly difficult, yet very fulfilling, journey of self discovery that is necessary to fully heal from any form of depression (covert or otherwise). with further reading, personal growth and self evaluation, you will look back and give the book high marks, but only because it launched you on a further path of growth and discovery.
read this, then begin the really hard work of personal growth.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 1997
Format: Hardcover
"I Just Don't Want to Talk About It" by Terrence
Real may just save my marriage and give me

back the man I married 33 years ago. As I read

this book, I cried. My husband and I were on

every page. Finally, I understand the hell

we've been living in for so long. A psychotherapist for twenty

years, author Terrence Real exposes the pain

the isolation, the workaholism,the disconnection

that signal covert male depression.

He is conservative in his estimates. I would say

most men suffer from depression at some point in their lives.

And they suffer longer because they have been

taught to repress, to deny. Thank you, Terry.

I'm bringing your book to our next counseling session.

We may live happily ever after, after all.
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