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I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression
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I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  603 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews

Each year, millions of men and women fall prey to depression. While the disorder has been called "psychiatry's most treatable condition," less than one in five get help. In recent years, the silence surrounding depression in women has begun to lift, but only now, with this powerful groundbreaking work, does psychotherapist Terrence Real expose a virtual epidemic of the di

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 27th 1997 by Prentice Hall & IBD (first published January 1st 1997)
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Aug 17, 2007 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any man who can even think about sitting with his own feelings for 5 minutes; anyone who knows a man
About half-way through. Subtitle could be "Masculinity in the Simon Family Tradition"-- I can picture generations of us reading this and saying, "How the hell did he find this out about me? I've never told anyone..." One or two might then look at the title and do a Homeric "DOH!" But forget about them-- I'm all over these pages. Less so now, by degrees, but there's still so much I haven't sat with, and didn't have the words to name, so I'm still going... I'll be back once I've finished (the book ...more
May 09, 2009 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting analysis of how depression manifests itself differently in men than the "classic" symptoms generally thought of. Especially good discussion of how violence, workaholism, and depression are passed from parents to children, particularly sons.

As a mother of boys, I also appreciated the sections on society's expectations of masculinity and femininity and how reinforcing those stereotypes can do damage, teaching boys that they can't express their emotions.

The descriptions are therapy ses
Josh Czinger
Feb 12, 2015 Josh Czinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
This was the first book I've read on this particular topic, and it was a bit of a pail of cold water in that it was shocking and refreshing. The author draws extensively from his own personal experiences with depression as well as the stories of the patients he's worked with. This creates a cross section of examples of overt depression that he then connects back to the covert depression that is harder to identify. He identifies a few methods and tools that can be used to bring the causes to ligh ...more
Jul 13, 2009 Jake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As happens with lots of college students, there came that point where I needed to talk to someone. It wasn’t just that I was in over my head, it was that I didn’t care and didn’t plan on getting better. On my second try, I found a therapist who was a good fit for me. She had a different background and a different perspective. In addition to being great to talk to, she pointed me towards some helpful literature. Easily the most beneficial thing she had me read was this book, I Don’t Want To Talk ...more
Ed McKeogh
Dec 03, 2012 Ed McKeogh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
(1) Thank you, Mr. Real, for THIS. AMAZING! BOOK.

(2) For the better part of my life, I've felt out of step with social expectations and not understood why. After reading this book, I get it. I finally get it. I feel as though I've been wandering in the wilderness for a long, long time, when I suddenly find myself standing before an information-rich, emotionally wrenching though inspiring and hopeful "You Are Here" sign. It's almost laughably easy to trace where I've come from, and it's heartenin
Kevin Orth
Oct 07, 2015 Kevin Orth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books on the topic of depression. Men and women are equal - and not the same. In some ways, we experience ourselves differently and society has different pressures and expectations. Any man who has experienced depression, anyone who loves a man who has experienced depression would be well served by reading this book.
Amy Mair
Dec 08, 2015 Amy Mair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I connected to this book on many levels, especially as a wife and mother. Highly recommended read. We need to stop devaluing our emotions as a society.

"Traditional gender socialization in our culture asks boys and girls to 'halve themselves.' Girls are allowed to maintain emotional expressiveness and cultivate connection. But they are systematically discouraged from fully developing and exercising their public, assertive selves--their 'voice' as it is often called. Boys, by contrast, are greatl
Koen Crolla
Jul 04, 2015 Koen Crolla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Whenever anyone complains about the lack of rigour and the prevalence of magical thinking in psychology, psychologists and other non-scientists are quick to accuse them of not knowing anything about the field and getting all of their information from pop-culture caricatures. It's interesting, then that psychologists keep writing books that conform exactly to those alleged caricatures. Real's characterisation of the field, the problems he sees with it regarding male depression, his proposed solut ...more
Laura Perry
Feb 28, 2015 Laura Perry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book for my husband, to give him a little self-help for anxiety and depression, but I ended up reading it myself. I learned a lot about family dynamics and now I understand more about how I was affected by the family I grew up in. The book is essentially a series of descriptions of the author's counseling patients and their family situations that ultimately led to depression. He uses his patients (with the names changed, of course) to illustrate the ways in which men in particular ten ...more
Richard Jespers
Jan 11, 2015 Richard Jespers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book about male depression. Real explains so many things, not only about my own life, but in the entire masculine culture of our civilization: alcoholism, workaholics, physical and sexual abuse. Real seems to fill in the blanks left by the inconclusive nature of my own traditional psychotherapy twenty-six years ago.

Favorite quote:

"My work with depressed men has led me to turn the conventional thinking about sons and their fathers on its head. If we give credence to the research detaili
Will Szal
Mar 20, 2014 Will Szal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most men are depressed. Many of them don't even know it. Sexism and the Patrix are part of the problem. Talk about stuff! Tell your stories! Don't keep it in. Don't hide emotion.

Way back in July or something I listened to the audio edition of “I Don’t Want to Talk About It: The Hidden Legacy of Male Depression" - a book by psychotherapist Terrence Real, recommended to my by my friends Jorge and Dave.

He asserts, as I’ve long believed, that a majority of men in the US have depression. But unlike t
Oct 14, 2015 Raleigh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Transformative, compelling. Great content with personal narrative and client stories interwoven throughout text. Solid feminist companion literature that tackles the often-overlooked epidemic of male depression. The book distinguishes male and female depression and shares that they look different more because of societal norms and expectations than biological reasons. Great for practical application.
Jessica Mercado
Mar 09, 2016 Jessica Mercado rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those life-changing reads. A helpful look into the male mind and heart and how it can so easily be damaged and gone untended for a lifetime because of society, lineage and a plethora of other reasons. As a wife of a military vet and struggling with how to overcome this hardship in our marriage I feel hopeful and motivated by the insight and essential tips in this book. Already set to read some of his others! Most excited to learn more about what I can do as a women and wife now.
This was a decent read-- it really delved into how men handle depression differently that women. I enjoyed how the therapist was a family therapist and incorporated relationships into his therapy. What I was expecting though was a bit more guidance, maybe checklists, about how men handle depression differently, whereas this book was more case studies and personal experience.
Jan 23, 2009 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
Very informative book about male depression and how men deal with depression different than women. A good read for men dealing with issues of anger, workaholism, or find problems connecting with others. Also a good read for anyone going into the psychology or counseling field to recieve another take on male depression and how it exhibits itself.
Jun 21, 2008 Curtis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about what it is to be a Man that almost no one, anywhere is talking about. Even though this book is very well written, I found it hard to read at first. The more I read it the easier it gets, the more this foreign idea finds the truth in my life.

Please, consider reading this for yourself, your family and your children.
D Watson
Jan 26, 2016 D Watson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for women and men but mostly men because they are much in denial.
I tried to give this to my husband but he is of course in denial.
I can see the damage he and I are doing to our son and I want to try and fix it but he sees nothing wrong and ignores it.
So if your a person who want to raise their children with feelings I so recommend this book.
Spoilers and Warning: The author does talk about boys being abused sexually and details it. Not graphic but if you're sensitive you should skip t
Rachel Stenbuck
Caution: should only be read by the emotionally stable. My husband and I read it in counseling without a lot of background (the counselor didn't say why she thought he/we should read it). The book made him really depressed. Before he got to the 4th chapter he had a life crisis, became emotionally unstable, and walked out of our marriage with no explanation (previously telling the counselor that our marriage was going well). In the right hands this could be a useful book, but should be read with ...more
Mar 03, 2015 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this on a long flight. in this engagingly written book, Real traces the sources of male depression, the differences in its presentation relative to women's depression, and the ways that he advocates helping men heal. One ends up learning a little more about Real's own traumatic upbringing than I thought was really necessary, but it's an honest description of a journey to health. It's a powerful book and well worth reading. Caveat: the book does show its age (I believe this version was publi ...more
Apr 23, 2016 Deepak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
""People see weakness in a woman and they want to help. They see weakness in a man and they want to stamp it out"
I have hugely benefited from reading this book. It is a must read for men who are suffering from any kind of depression. And, also for women who want to understand sexism faced by men when it comes to mental diseases.

In India, according to a 2012 report, married men committing suicide is double the number of married men. In a study popularly known as roommate study, it was found that
May 26, 2015 Ben rated it liked it
This is an important book, accessible for both mental health professionals and men afflicted by depression in its myriad forms. Given that I can claim membership in both categories, it was particularly relevant to me.

Real's basic thesis is that the behavioral issues we see more typically in men--- such as violence and addiction--- are actually examples of "covert depression." Essentially, they are defenses constructed by the man to avoid feelings of emotional pain and vulnerability. Such feelin
Jan 16, 2013 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a terrific book for men who:
a) feel depressed, know they are depressed, and who want to understand that depressed state more fully;
b) are coping with anxiety and likewise, want to understand their feelings better; and/or
c) don't know what is wrong, but are behaving and feeling in way that is causing problems for themselves and the people around them.

This book presents a theory that men tend to experience and manifest depression differently than women, externalizing their distress -
Mar 03, 2012 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: communication
In both books (How Can I Get Through to You and I Don't Want to Talk About It), Terrence Real uses stories (names and important details changed to protect the clients) from his work with patients to explore the world of men's emotions. In How Can I Get Through to You, Real explores the complexities of male - female relationships. In I Don't Want to Talk about It, the book begins with male overt depression and covert depression. Real argues that covert male depression is more prevalent than our s ...more
Michael Greenwell
Real places male depression in the context of the cultural limitations of the male gender role, and in so doing provides a useful perspective from which to consider depression in men. I was a bit put off by the artificial simplicity of his examples and what I saw as limited experimental basis for his conclusions, I got the impression that Real relies more on his experience than experimentation, and while he may be effective I question whether his efficacy can be generalized without a strong expe ...more
Mano Chil
Dec 18, 2015 Mano Chil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a few words in order to beat depression in men, men have to start relating with their wives or family members and have to take care of them and have them as top priority in their lives.

Men can't shut themselves out, build a wall around themselves and not communicate if they want to control their depression.
Apr 27, 2016 Travis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I've read in years, and should be a std for anyone who considers themselves a feminist. Though it rehashes some familiar territory, the use of case studies serves to help the reader connect and identify with the characters and situations that are described, even if you do not have a similar experiences in your past.
A warning:
For those who are very empathetic, you will find this a VERY long read. Not because the book is inaccessible, or because it is particularly lon
Oct 18, 2009 Nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't get through this book. It was all too familiar -- men not in touch with their feelings, victims of harsh fathers and a society that forces men to suck it up and squelch their emotions. It seemed a bit passe and whiny in the end. That may not be Terry Real's fault -- the book has been out 12 years, and it may well be that men have progressed and the conversation, thanks to Terry and others, has moved on. That would be a good thing.... It seems to me that we hear endlessly these days fr ...more
Jun 25, 2013 Len rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Throughout different times and cultures, men have fit a certain archetype, one aspect of which is it is expected of males to suppress their pain and emotions as these are considered to be weak and feminine. For men, it is perceived that depression is a woman’s affiliation, and shame can accompany the acknowledgement that he may have a problem. This book is instrumental in helping men tear down the social stigmas tethered with depression and assists in helping to understand why it is they feel th ...more
Feb 14, 2014 Gretchen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book on the connection between childhood abuse and depression, both overt depression and the covert depression that manifests itself through workaholism, anger, and addictions. The author's own story is particularly touching, and as a reader, I found myself amazed that he had been able to overcome such a difficult childhood.

His message is that men do not have to resign themselves to living a painful existence, increasingly disconnected and isolated from friends and family. Terry Rea
Caralynn West
Jun 05, 2016 Caralynn West rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want to know more about what makes a man tick, read this book. I will never see men the way I have in the past. It is also great way to learn more about yourself should you be a woman.
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DEPRESSION 3 13 Oct 24, 2009 07:48AM  
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