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Out of the Nightmare: Recovery from Depression and Suicidal Pain [Paperback]

David L. Conroy
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)


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Paperback, July 1991 --  

Book Description

July 1991 1879204002 978-1879204003 1st
"Out of the Nightmare" presents a no-fault theory about depression and suicide. It argues that we should not blame the victim, the family, the caregivers, or society in general. It provides a detailed analysis of each of the barriers that stand between suicidal pain and recovery, and provides those who suffer from depression with hundreds of resources to find their way out of the nightmare. Recovery from depression is decomposed into recovery from envy, shame, self-pity, grandiosity, fear, stigma, prejudice, and the vicious circles of sucidal pain. The book helps sufferers find lasting relief from internalized negative self-judgments.


Editorial Reviews

Review

The subtitle of this book is misleading: suicide, not depression, is the main topic here. Conroy, executive director of Suicide Prevention Resources in New York City, believes that the most effective way to treat and prevent suicide is to "decompose" it into simple matrix elements: shame, envy, self-pity, grandiosity, fear, stigma, and prejudice. By recovering from each of these maladies, he asserts, the would-be suicide can rejoin the world of the mentally healthy. If this sounds a bit onedimensional, it is. Though research increasingly points to a biochemical, genetically inherited culprit in severe depression and study after study indicates that pharmacological intervention plus therapy is the most effective form of treatment, Conroy insists dubiously - that recovery can be both simple and drug-free. The book's main flaw is that it never targets its audience. It promises to be useful to counselors, grieving survivors, and those in the early stages of recovery, but this is too broad an ambition. The writing is singularly dense and academic: it's doubtful that anyone in emotional turmoil will have the patience or objectivity necessary to wade through - much less make use of - the material on recovery. -- From Independent Publisher

About the Author

David L. Conroy, Ph.D., served as Executive Director of a New York City non-profit suicide prevention organization. He writes from the perspective of someone who suffered severe depression for ten years, and is now seventeen years into recovery from that condition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: New Liberty Press; 1st edition (July 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879204002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879204003
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,616,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book saved my life. April 11, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
"Out of the Nightmare" is primarily responsible for my recovery from twenty years of suicidal pain. I have read many books on suicide, but David Conroy is the ONLY author who obviously understands first-hand what it feels like to be suicidal. He states: "Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain." That simple approach relieved me of the burden of guilt that most suicidal people feel about being suicidal, which exacerbates their pain. It helped me understand that by simply increasing my coping resources, and working on the individual sources of my pain, I could untangle the web of darkness that leads to suicidal feelings.
Dr. Conroy understands the thoughts and fears of suicidal people, and offers a clear, non-judgmental, morally neutral path to recovery.
Dr. Conroy also shows how many people - including therapists, counselors, and loved ones who intend to be helpful - often actually make a suicidal person's pain worse, and deter them from seeking help. He offers concrete suggestions from his vast experience for how to help a suicidal person, and empowers the suicidal with permission to resist the harm that is unwittingly inflicted on them.
I am alive today because of this book. Many therapists and counselors have "theories" about suicide that were formed in classrooms and laboratories. David Conroy's approach was formed in the real world, and it's a real-world, practical approach to true relief from the nightmare of suicidal pain.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is worth the effort December 14, 1999
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We have a cultural mythology that oppresses the suicidal. The mythology adds to their pain, makes it harder for them to get help, and greatly contributes to suicide. Suicidal people suffer pain on more than one level: not only the emotional pain that makes them consider ending their lives, but pain that is unintentionally inflicted on them by well-meaning people who say terribly unhelpful things to them. "That's not enough to be suicidal about." "He only took 15 pills, he wasn't serious." "Anyone who tries to kill himself has got to be crazy." "I thought you were stronger than that." "You're just looking for attention." "Cheer up, it's a beautiful day." As if suicidal persons weren't feeling bad enough already, our thoughtless attitudes can cause them to feel guilt and shame, and keep them from getting help in time. Dr. Conroy blasts apart the myths of suicide, and looks at suicidal feelings from the inside, in a down to earth, non-judgmental way. This is a book that will save lives by washing away the stigma of suicide and opening the door to a real way out of the nightmare.
Conroy ruthlessly debunks suicide myths: that it is volitional, that it is morally wrong, that the suicidal are weak and selfish. He helps us understand the fears of the suicidal - and our own fears that drive the stigma of suicide.
The book is a pretty dense read. It requires patience because there are a lot of ideas packed into this book. If you are a suicidal person, read it in small bites; the ideas are so radical that they may send you reeling with relief. But you will know right away that the author understands, and doesn't blame you for what you are feeling. And you'll find out that there are people out there who really can help.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Dr. David Conroy's Book "Out of the Nightmare - Recovery from Suicidal Pain" was the definitive source of "reason" for me, at a time when nothing made sense. The idea that people caught in suicidal pain could break out of their own hell to see some light by removing social stigma and aversion one piece at a time was as remarkable as it was refreshing. Now that I have this information, I can see through the accusations that the suicidal are manipulative, vengeful, aggressive people choosing between life and death like deciding which shoes to wear. That pain, be it physical or psychological, can be relieved through careful selection of coping resources. I agree that the book appears to attack mainstream psychology, and could be initially distressing to someone in suicidal pain, but the reader will quickly discover that the attacks are not about them but about the fears that drive society to such hostile aversion for those in pain. Once the reader realizes the absurdity of society's notion that "every human being has sufficient will power to tolerate any level of pain for any length of time" then the book takes on a new perspective. The author systematically addresses each pain, laying it bare and exposed for the myth that it is, and offers clear direction on how to remove their power of hopelessness and despair. It also provides excellent information about how to get the most from your psychologist meetings, and how to know when it's time to find better help. Suicide, for the majority of humanity, is not a solution with motives and goals that are ruthlessly pursued. Depression, driven by psychological pain, is not the cognitive thought process as so many "experts" try to model. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Referance
This is a good reference book, states most of the normal, expected ideology. It's a good book to keep in my personal library.
Published 16 months ago by pamela romeo
5.0 out of 5 stars Out Of The Nightmare
This book is a must read for anyone who is feeling suicidal, is dealing with a suicidal loved one, or is a professional coping with suicide. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Very helpful book - informative, made me feel better about situations - made me understand better and not feel so alone. written in a non-judgemental manner - very nice.
Published on May 24, 2012 by Kris
5.0 out of 5 stars I finally "got it" after this book!
David Conroy's book was a breath of fresh air just whenI needed it. I stayed up late two nights in a row to get through the first chapters, up to the end of the chapters about... Read more
Published on August 3, 2011 by Clive
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book out there.
This is the most honest, logical well researched and comprehensive book I have found. It needs to be picked up by a major publisher and brought to the attention of every... Read more
Published on July 27, 2011 by interested party
5.0 out of 5 stars A Blessing
Like the majority of other reviews here mine is also of high praise. I too am a suicide survivor, in fact this book helped me see something so obvious one might wonder how I... Read more
Published on June 9, 2011 by zplum
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, SOMEONE GETS IT
A must read for all who want to gain a logical/truthful understanding of suicide and its victims.
Dr. Read more
Published on December 12, 2009 by H. DePasquale
5.0 out of 5 stars I am a Suicide Survivor
As a suicide survivor I found this book very helpful to me. It has vital information also for families, friends and professionals who treat those with depression and suicide pain.
Published on July 7, 2009 by Carl Erickson
5.0 out of 5 stars thank you David Conroy
I found this a dense book and difficult to read (that may have been my depression, which makes it hard to think)
AND WORTH PERSISTING WITH. Read more
Published on November 17, 2001 by a rose thorn
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