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Depressive Illness: The Curse Of The Strong (Overcoming Common Problems)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  442 ratings  ·  45 reviews
In contrast many books on depression, this text takes the view that those most susceptible to depression are people with strong personalities. Being naturally conscientious and reliable, they tend to carry on under great stress, where weaker people would simply give up. In the end the burden becomes too much and they succumb to depression rather like a rubber band which wi ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Sheldon Press
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  442 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Songs and Sonnets
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book has revolutionised the way I view myself and my depression.

It’s not a self-help book as such. It provides information on stress-related depression, with occasional bits of advice. There are no exercises to complete. Intead, Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong helps you to understand how your illness developed, why you need to be gentle with yourself and what you need to do to get better.

I first developed severe depression after pushing myself too hard during my final year at un
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health
So, my sister recommended this book to me, and I really didn't get it. Because, I wasn't depressed, was I? Obviously not. Anyway, I was halfway through the first chapter when I first realized that he was describing my life of the last few years word for word. So much information in such a small book. So, yeah. Definitely recommended for anyone who has depression, or knows anyone who has depression, or is at all interested in depression, or anyone else really. It's just that good.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was initially drawn to this book because the author, Tim Cantopher MD, makes it apparent in his introduction that clinical depression is a physical illness. This assertion really spiked my interest. However, it soon becomes apparent that Cantopher's 'physical illness' is a byproduct of the demands of modern-day living. Essentially, he argues, that depressives 'catch' depression by leading lives which are too demanding. This hypothesis, however, fails to satisfactorily account for dysthymia and ...more
Derek Baldwin
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Quite short, and at times a little simplistic, but a valuable book nevertheless which I shall certainly dip into many more times, just as I already read some sections several times along the way. the central thesis is that it's the very resilient people who seem to cope well with what life throws at them, seemingly without complaint, who may end up disastrously unwell when things finally reach tipping point. this certainly resonated with me.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This. Book. Changed. My. Life.
It's as simple as that. Seriously, everybody should read this book. I don't usually say that, but I'm saying it now! Reading something which is honest, kind and compassionate about mental illness makes a refreshing change. From understanding what depressive illness is, what causes it, how to recover to how to stay well, Cantopher gives a clear message: you are ill because you have been too strong and this is how you recover. It has helped me work through some very
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please, everybody who knows someone with depressive illness, read the intro and chapter 1 of this book! Apparantly lots of tips for healthy people in here too. haven't gotten to that bit yet (only at chapter 4).

written in easy to understand English yet informative and accurate.

The only thing that really bugs me about this book is it's title. I can see it is fitting in relation to the content, however it is literally stopping me from getting copies for the people in my life whom i would really l
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm so happy to have read this book. While I don't seem to suffer from depression generally, I did have a terrible bout of it a few Januarys back. So much of what is in here is applicable to all sorts of things, including my own I.C.I. (Invisible Chronic Illness) multiple sclerosis - about choices and about pacing yourself. The parts that dealt specifically with depression weren't terribly helpful to me personally, but are probably good to know. And if you are dealing with depressive illness in ...more
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book after I listened to an interview of Tim Cantopher. I now have to keep track of who I have lent it to! I guess this book provides different things to different people but what I like about it is the logic and explanation to a topic that is very taboo at times. 'Stiff upper lip' and 'we all get low' was part of my upbringing; depression was not an option. I believe this book is a fabulous opportunity to start understanding depression whether you suffer or know someone who does.
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
a very good read: short sentences, logical and easy to take in

Tim Cantopher has a really good way of explaining things and it's quite a small book so not too overwhelming to digest if your concentration is a bit limited
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent little book; very insightful - not only for sufferers but anyone living with someone prone to depressive episodes. Very readable, and highly recommended !
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who living with extremely high standards
Recommended to Lance by: Carolyn Barker
"Clinical depression is not a psychological or emotional state. It is a physical illness. Clinical depression is every bit as a physical a condition as pneumonia or a broken leg."

Psychiatrist Tim Cantopher's book is one of the most motivational self-help books I have read, and has got my 2018 goal to improve my mental health off to a great start. I found the very clear, concise, direct style extremely helpful, especially as there are so many conflicted opinions and a lot of personal guilt surrou
Antony Simpson
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review from

Depressive Illness – The Curse of the Strong is a best selling book all about depression by Psychiatrist Dr Tim Cantopher. This book is outstanding.

Every aspect of the book has been created with a reader who is struggling with depression in mind.

This book is written as if the author is having a conversation with the reader.

The book is short, a total of 114 pages, as are the chapters, which is intentional as a symptom of depression is having a limited concentration s
Andrew Pratley
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am going through a depressive episode at the moment & this book was recommended to me by my therapist. It is not a long book but it is packed full of good advice which is easily digested. I am going to re-read a number of its chapters on a regular basis since they are full of good sense.

The central contention of the book is that depressive illness brought on by stress is not a condition that afflicts the weak or disengaged. It is instead an illness that afflicts the strong & engaged. I
Kym Hamer
This is one of the best books I've read about depression and this is why. It doesn't just talk about the cause and the recovery options, it talks about the process of the illness itself. While most counsel 'taking it easy' and doing as much as you feel like, Cantopher uses his own patients' experiences to explain the exhaustion that knocks you sideways (dumping you like a big unexpected wave in the surf) as well as the ups and downs of the initial stages following diagnosis. Reading this book fe ...more
Emma Turner
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I was first diagnosed with depression I refused to accept it. Whilst reading a self help book, this book was recommended and I can honestly say I am truly grateful for it.
It explains depression so well that when you are a suffering you feel the book was written about you. It’s full of ‘Aha’ moments and it has genuinely changed my outlook on mental illness. And I finally accepted my diagnosis.
Would highly recommend also to those struggling with a family member or friend who is dealing with d
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
While I did like this particular doctor's view of depression, I don't think it needed to be 112 pages long.
I do trust the insight, Dr. Cantopher has years of experience and seems to be a reputable Doctor, but a lot of the book seemed more like opinion and thoughts rather than researched based.
I would say read it, the book is pretty short and I did get some helpful insight.
Emily Rowan
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mental-health
A great overview of depression, looking at how modern life fuels our mental health epidemic. This was the best piece of writing i've found that puts in understandable terms what happens to a depressed brain. A must-read on depression
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Relevant but unhelpful
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
User manual for human life.
adrian m kwasnicki

Recommended by my therapist. Thought I wouldn't get much out of it, but I learned a lot from this book. Thank you!
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book, gave me a lot to think about. I wish I'd stumbled across it years ago.
Shona Moyce
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who has depression, or knows someone with depression.
I read this book in bursts. Every time I picked it up, it presented me with a gift. I feel like I've done myself a huge favour simply for having read it. The author and doctor, Tim Cantopher, has a brilliant no-nonsense voice, and more to the point, that voice comes from a place of sound understanding.

Never before have I come across something, or someone for that matter, who could sum up this illness in a way that didn't feel belittling or judgmental. It's usually one or the other. To be perfect
Tanya Marlow
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2015
It’s written by a psychiatrist. He makes clear that he is talking about the kind of depression that is ‘stress-related’ (as opposed to bipolar or other types of depression which are part of a person’s chemical make-up), which is to say that it is caused by overloading the system repeatedly until a fuse blows. This is why, he argues, depression affects the strong, not the weak – for it is they who constantly take on the burdens of others as well as themselves, until their body snaps and they dev ...more
May 02, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
[Note: This is a review of the audiobook version.]

There are very few audiobooks that I ever fail to complete, but Tim Cantopher's "Depressive Illness" has set a new bar for me. I lay the blame equally at the feet of the author and the narrator. As other reviewers have mentioned, Lynsey Frost is a strange and inappropriate choice. Her tone is patronising, cloyingly familiar and just plain infuriating. For some reason, the audiobook version altered the text to be in the third person ("Dr. Cantophe
Laura Macdonald
Mar 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm in two minds about this book. On the one hand I found it a light, readable, humorous and insightful summary of a serious condition and to that end I enjoyed it and took some useful ideas from it. However, I also have issues: it's a slim volume and clearly not intended to be an in-depth analysis, but perhaps it was just too short; the author is a psychiatrist, but to me it seemed too much faith in psychiatry and drugs (then again, having recently read Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Har ...more
Sarah-Jayne Windridge-France
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For anyone suffering from stress or depression THIS is the book to read.

I was fortunate to have been recommended this book by a good friend who himself has suffered from clinical depression and who knows me well.

Not only does this book explain that clinical depression is a very real, physical condition, but it gave me a very clear understanding and offered a number of techniques in which to treat it and prevent it from happening again.

I'm still struggling, but with the help of this book and som
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I started reading this, I really just wanted to find out a little more about the subject, and now having read it, I'd have to say it was truly illuminating and a really interesting and informative read. It really made sense and it made common sense a key theme throughout. The surrounding issues and common pitfalls are described in such a way to make the reader understand that these are commonly faced by large numbers of sufferers. In this sense, it felt to me that this was a most sensible a ...more
Phill Arneaud
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
For anyone suffering depression this is a good read, you will begin to recognise all the symptoms as if the book was written about you!
If you have suffered depression this is a difficult read. Some sections are hard going but stick with and all will become clear, The Curse Of The Strong.......will make sense, you're not a failure (right now you think you are) in fact, as the book points out, you are very strong you just need to learn how to strike the work life balance and learn to say no to ot
Mark Haberfield
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have suffered from depression for at least four years and really related to this book which was recommended by my doctor. I saw how I had been pulled into this mess and learned a lot about the science and psychology. I'm still trying to find the route out that works for me. I believe that everyone who has depression or knows someone else who does should read this book.
Eloise McCrohan
Strangely enough, this is a book I didn't mind reading. I DESPISE books about mental diseases, or self-motivation, or getting through life in general, but this one was a good read. It's a book that can give hope. When I first started reading this, I was in a bad way, and found some solace in the hopeful message that Tim Cantopher drills into your brain by the time you've finished the last page.
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