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on April 1, 2003
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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on July 30, 2003
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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on October 10, 1997
"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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on March 12, 2000
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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on May 3, 2002
I've struggled with depression since childhood. I've read volume after volume on the subject. Most of it, however earnest, just blows smoke.
This one's different. Real is the only therapist I've read who captures the anger behind depression--dammit, harm has been done to innocent people, and the pain they suffer is unrecognised, devalued or morally stigmatised becuse the sufferers happen to be male.
The rage they feel against the perpetrator(s)never gets a focus. After all, it would be focussed on the people who cared for you as you grew. What does one do if the hand that beats you is the hand that feeds you? You do what you need to survive the moment. You stay fed. Only later do you fail to thrive.
Terrence Real focusses his own rage on this injustice--and rage, indeed, he does. He suffered the abuse that leads to depression, and now helps men face it squarely.
Like an ugly scab, healing ain't always pretty. If you never properly clean and dress a wound, grotesque scars disfigure you. Real tells the stories of men who have put the time, effort and care into healing. It ain't easy. But having done so, their scars heal clean, and a happier life begins.
Other so-called self-help books (the "inner-child" movement springs to mind) seem to argue that learning to love your scars is the road to happiness. Poppycock.
(I might also add that this is less a self-help book than a political and moral treatise. If sufferers find it helpful, that's a by-product.)
Personally, I think Real lets women off the hook too easily in this book. Having endured the female-dominated "caring professions" to effect my own cure, I think Real ought to empahsise the complicity of women in the patriarchy (which he rightly labels as damaging to both sexes).
Even quite enlightened women patronise men who try to be strong and scorn them when they allow themselves to be weak. In their effort to stamp out male aggression, they demean male strength--a strength which women who wish to heal might well wish they had.
Real is the first scholar I've read to point out that the patriarchy actually harms men more than it harms women. It certainly proves fatal more often.
He is the first therapist I know to make a case that men are MORE emotional than women; not the insensitive droogs of feminist caricature.
Against a background of shallow, ineffectual, touchy-feely self-help gurus, Real stands out as a straight talker. To borrow a phrase from the patriarchy, he's results-oriented. And that ain't a bad thing.
Real? An aptly named author.
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on June 3, 1998
In this book, the author shows the stages in the growth of male depression and how they manifest themselves in his behavior. The cause, he argues, is the many ways society "coerces" and bullies a boy into the traditional and stereotypical version of manhood, with its relentless emphasis on violence and walling himself off from emotions, both his and others. He points out that the stereotype defines how therapists treat male depression--i.e., that it's not really true--whereas the female stereotype (caring, nurturing, relational) dictates the great attention and help provided depressed women.
Unfortunately, Real implies that hidden and denied depression is the source of all male problems--violence, alcoholism, drug addition, etc.--which detracts slightly from an otherwise valuable and moving book, but not enough to say 'don't take seriously.' Revealing his own troubled childhood in the hands of his brutal father and how he, despite knowing better, visits passive abuse upon his own son gives what he says great validity.
For a woman who grew up with a neglectful and emotionally unavailable father and married a couple of others--what else?--this book was an eye opener.
I wish as many men as women would read this book, as well as the recently published Male Menopause. After years of books about how women develop, we're just now seeing a small swell of books about men. I hope the swell grows into a large tide. It's long overdue.
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on June 26, 2006
I am on my second reading of this book. My first reading profoundly moved and disturbed me. It's like having a veil lifted and seeing with a little bit more clarity some of those things about myself I've never been able to quite understand. If you've ever had those moments when you catch yourself wondering, "Why am I not feeling (emotionally) anything at this moment?" or "Why did I get that angry?" you might want to brace yourself for a very insightful and upsetting read. I went into this trying to do some research on what was going on with my son, only to learn a few things about what was going on with me, and also my father.
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on August 31, 2004
Terrence Real doesn't't write self-help books: he writes riveting memoirs about his experience as a therapist, as the son of a depressed father and as a man suffering from depression himself. Highly literate and engaging, I Don't Want to Talk About It was perhaps the first book to look at a well-known secret that men experience-and suffer through-depression in a manner distinctly different from women. Admit to falling prey to depression, and you are in essence, unmanly. Refuse to admit it and sink further into the clutches of depression, affecting your work and family. A wonderful look at a malady that touches us all in some fashion.
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on December 8, 1999
I would recommend this book to any male friend who is in need of life change. I have bought 6 copies so far for other people and am now in the process of ordering another for myself. As men we no longer need to live the legacy that was handed to us by our fathers or grandfathers. Recently divorced I knew I needed to understand what I was going through. I had the pleasure of doing a weekend workshop with Terrrence Real and feel extremely fortunate for having done so.This book is a must!
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on January 11, 2005
While this book is dense with valuable information - I like to call it Psyc. 601, and thus presumably not your first read in the field of psychotherapy - it resonates so clearly that anyone with a desire to grow should benefit greatly from it. Indeed, while I am no expert, this book is the closest thing to the Holy Grail of psychology that I have read to-date because it provides a pretty unified understanding of the American male. I've bought five copies for friends. Thanks Terrance.
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