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I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression Paperback – March 2, 1998
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
I would recommend for anyone, male or female, because everyone should be aware of the subconscious labels we put on men and how it perpetuates widespread male depression.
The descriptions of therapy sessions are very instructive, while making for good reading.
I have already read it twice and bought a copy for my son's (they are taking turns). I hope to help them open up - young, and not go through the ritual of male pain.