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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

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  491 ratings  ·  63 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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
(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
Koen Crolla
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
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
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
Kevin Orth
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.
Will Szal
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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 -
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
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
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
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
Nadine K
This book is an amazing book that made me laugh, cry and think really seriously about the socialization of men and the depression that they suffer due to that societal expectation. I learned so much about the men in my life, especially my own father. I have also learned to help break the cycle of male depression whenever I recognize it and have any small power to do so. This is must read for both men and women, but especially those who have a man in their life that they want to understand better ...more
No doubt one of the more useful books of my lifetime.
Tara Humphries
A really interesting angle. Published in 99, I wonder what the research in the last 15 years looks like
It's absolutely worth reading. It does focus on a specific set of issues (men's inability to communicate within themselves and without; men's worth being identified with performance, not with self-esteem; childhood traumas), allowing for in-depth analysis. It doesn't demonize or forget women's issues, either. The more clinical narratives are intermixed with the author's own journey of discovery and recovery and with informational facts about research and studies. The language is always accessibl ...more
Jennifer Finlayson-Fife
Terrence Real interweaves his own story with his experiences as a therapist around the unseen prevelance of male depression--masked in culturally acceptable forms for men such as work-a-holism, alcoholism, and sexual addictions. Author does an excellent job of critiquing the cultural notions of masculinity that undermine men's well-being and relational capacity as adults. Questions traditional psychology and notions of male psychological health. Excellent book.
Billie Criswell
He is the leading authority on male depression and I genuinely liked this book. I found it helpful in dealing with my husband, who has depression. It is even more helpful for the male depressed species. Haha.

All in all the things that Terry has to say about depression are relevant, and he gives lots of anecdotal bits in his book and a lot of movie references. Some of them are a little too much for me--but I understand how men relate well to them.

I heard this author speak when I was in graduate school at Smith in the 90's. I knew this book started out as his Master's thesis. I finally bought it this past Spring. I finally read it this week. I won't kid you, it is a depressing book about men and trauma and depression. It is powerful. It is very powerful. It is a book that I could see actually changing a person's life. I won't forget it anytime soon.
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DEPRESSION 3 13 Oct 24, 2009 07:48AM  
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