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Depression And How To Survive It

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  75 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
In 1982 Anthony Clare interviewed Spike Milligan for the radio series "In The Psychiatrist's Chair" and was so overwhelmed by Milligan's account of his forty years of depressive experiences that he knew he had found the person to help him illuminate and explore the mysterious and sometimes terrifying illness that is clinical depression.

"Depression and How to Survive It" is
ebook, 224 pages
Published September 4th 2008 by Cornerstone Digital (first published 1993)
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Becky Walker
Sep 13, 2014 Becky Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Fascinating book. Although I'm sure a bit out of date, the analysis of research into causes and treatments is particularly interesting, liberally sprinkled with biography and transcripts from Milligan to keep it from becoming too dry. Particularly worth a read for people who have never suffered a prolonged or severe episode of depression, mania or anxiety, and it's on that basis that I'd quite like to metaphorically thwack a few people over the head with it.
Courtney Williams
Book 16/52 for 2012, review cross-posted to my blog.

Let's start with the two most frustrating aspects of this book, both of which appear on the front cover. Yes, I judged this book by its cover, and it came up short! First, the placement of the two "authors'" names gives the impression that this is a book written by Spike Milligan and Anthony Clare (the late psychiatrist and friend of Milligan) on depression. In actual fact, this is a book by Anthony Clare on depression, featuring Spike Milligan
Bob Hartley
Jan 28, 2013 Bob Hartley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a self-help book at first. I thought it'd be one long interview that I could learn a few lessons from. It blows my expectations out of the water. It's approached maturely and sensitively, even if it is a bit outdated (the accepted term is "bipolar disorder", though I think "manic depression" is more accurate because I don't think "bipolar" suggests a neutral mood). It took me fucking ages to finish because, funny enough, I got too depressed at one point, so I ended up getting ...more
Dave Lefevre
Oct 31, 2011 Dave Lefevre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mental-health
Spike Milligan is one of the comic geniuses on the second half of the 20th century. He isn't celebrated in the U.S. like his close friend Peter Sellers, but he may be the greater genius. He's the grandfather of the type of comedy we would see in Monty Python, and indeed his humor was a favorite of all the British members of that group. If you like Python and you've never heard any of the Good Show radio programs from the 1950s there are several ways to get them and I would encourage you to do so ...more
Laura Macdonald
Jul 29, 2011 Laura Macdonald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book, giving a real insight into the world of the clincially depressed person, as told from the point of view of Spike Milligan who suffered from manic depression for most of his life and Dr Anthony Claire, who had a series of meetings with Spike Milligan and also who is a renowned expert in this field. At times, the book is very depressing and I would suggest reading it, when you are in a positive, inquisative frame of mind, so as not to drag you down further. It contains ve ...more
Jan 02, 2008 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to know more about depression.
I'm ambivalent about Depression and How to Survive It by Anthony Clare. Though advertised as being co-authored with comedian Spike Milligan, this book really focuses on psychologist Clare sharing the full scope of his views on depression and mental illness. Milligan gets quoted now and then. It's hard for me to not be disappointed that it was less of a memoir than expected. However, as a resource for the science of depression, I have difficulty imaging a more readable textbook. Worth reading for ...more
Jun 23, 2010 Janet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: family and friends of those with depression
This book didn't really tell me anything I didn't know about depression. I felt it was a better read for those around a depressed person. Although I found it interesting that a depressed person can search for a physical cause because of the stigma attached to mental illness.

Anyone who wants a book about about Spike Milligan this is not it, it is a case study about the wider subject of depression.
Jul 24, 2013 Ls rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very insightful book not only into the nature of Spike Miligan's metail heath issues but to the nature of mental illness and the many forms that it can take.
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Terence Alan Patrick Seán Milligan, known as Spike, was a comedian, writer and musician. He was of Irish descent, but spent most of his childhood in India and lived most of his later life in England, moving to Australia after retirement. He is famous for his work in The Goon Show, children's poetry and a series of comical autobiographical novels about his experiences serving in the British Army in ...more
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