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All Blacks Don't Cry

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  276 ratings  ·  33 reviews
John Kirwan was one of the most devastating wingers New Zealand, and world, rugby had ever seen. A prominent and revered figure at the dawn of the professional age of rugby, he seemed to live a charmed life. Nobody knew, though, that behind closed doors 'JK' was living a life of tormented fear. Afflicted with depression for many years - including those as a high-profile sp ...more
288 pages
Published October 25th 2010 by Penguin
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3.89  · 
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 ·  276 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Thomas Edmund
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My initial thoughts of Kirwan's Depression campaign were favourable although I must confess an aspect of me took it for granted that such a project was a symptom of famous people syndrome where popular well known folks get shoulder-tapped to engage in such 'good-works' only to increase their popularity and so forth.

This couldn't be further from the truth. Kirwan did the project out of good-will and genuine desire to help. It was also a struggle to decide to engage in the project, even as world-r
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As someone just going through early stages of anxiety and depression, this book gave me real hope and helped me understand what I was going through. It's very hard to explain to someone when you cannot understand the problem yourself, but reading this in the language and style it's written has helped me immensely. Should be more readily available in the UK.
This book does an amazing job of fighting the stereotypes of depression and mental illness. In All Blacks Don't Cry, John Kirwan remembers the the walk he went through battling severe depression and also gives tips of getting through He proves you don't have to be a soft person, as many think, to suffer from depression. It was great he addressed the stereotype of Kiwi guys needing to be 'tough and invincible', as it simply isn't possible for people to never have times they find hard.

A great memo
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book - not in the sit down and escape kind of way but in the I can do something for myself or loved one.

Here in New Zealand this guy is a famous sports hero and to publish such a book is outstanding. It is very revealing but incredibly useful for somebody who is dealing with depression either themselves or as a support person. The language is appropriate but the type set big with nice pictures so a non reader will not be put off.

As a health professional there was nothing ne
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was IN AWE when a Legendary All Black Rugby Player John Kirwan, came forward and spoke of major anxiety issues and depression at the height of his career some years ago … issues he delicately called ‘freaking out’. I enjoyed this book, specifically for men dealing with anxiety and/or depression. Rugby in New Zealand IS New Zealand and unfortunately that makes these mere rugby players ‘gods’. To have such a talented player and man stand up publicly and tell his story when no-one else would even ...more
Lise Cartwright
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you know someone who is suffering from depression and just don't understand, this book will help - you can't expect to understand something you've never experienced, but you can understand and empathise once you 'get' that this isn't about you, it's about them.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What JK has done for mental health - especially men's mental health in New Zealand - is nothing short of ... well ... words kinda fail me. Heroic, life-saving, life-changing, he is just brilliant.

Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For people outside of New Zealand, I can't emphasise enough how big a deal it was for John Kirwan to write this and discuss mental health issues in the open. If it can happen to the most successful individuals in the ultimate "man up" silent and strong community that is rugby, it can happen anywhere. I think it has helped innumerable people to gain awareness of mental health in themselves and their loved ones and also to give them hope.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
It feels like JK is talking to you personally talking to you. So humble, so practical and real. An easy read for anybody in depression, recovering or learning about it.
Mike Hales
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A great book, honest, brave and full of slivers of light that give hope and energy to fight depression. Given Kirwan's standing as an all black this is a powerful wake up call for all men.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I felt like it was important to read this book as a Briwi* counselling student because of John Kirwan's place in New Zealand culture - both as one of the first rugby superstars and for his incredible work facing the depression awareness campaign. I didn't expect this book to be great, or even good (my bullshit assumptions about what professional rugby players are like are showing here), but I absolutely loved it.

Blokey men are at particular risk when it comes to depression, as they are often ma
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing, and John Kirwan deserves a medal for writing it! It is so much more costly to come out with the fact that you've had depression when you're a famous person. But John does more, he is part of a whole awareness campaign in his home country of New Zealand.

If you suffer from depression, or have a loved one who does, this book is a must. It is SO clear, non-judgmental, and not at ALL the "you must do this, you must do that" kind of book. John just shares his story with honesty
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it
New Zealand males are pretty basic types, you might even call them emotionally retarded. What John Kirwan has done with this book is step outside that claustrophobic insular world of macho Kiwi maleness - wherein it's pretty much a sin to hire a builder rather than build your house yourself - and single-handedly attempt to usher in an era during which it's acceptable to talk about subjects other than house prices and deck sizes, and to feel emotions that don't fit into the box of frontiersman st ...more
Jan 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Well worth a read. This personal account of depression is written in John Kirwan's simple, sincere style and describes his personal battle with and life after the battle. He believes that the tough rugby culture and drive required to be a top sportsman prevented him from seeking help earlier and provides information about how to detect and live with depression. Inspiring. Although I found his very simplified style irritating initially (there's something "honest Kiwi bloke gets in touch with his ...more
Nov 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
I find it massively patronising that he says "I understand what you are going through" Really?
In his book he writes (as does his doctor) that he wasn't suicidal. How can somebody who hasn't experienced this side of depression understand what a suicidally depressed person is going through?
He wasn't psychotic, he wasn't admitted to an inpatient unit and given safety sheets for the mattress on the floor, held down and given an injection of antipsychotic after taking an overdose. So I find glib phra
Tony Nielsen
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ex famous All Black rugby player & now International rugby coach John Kirwan has fronted a series of campaigns in New Zealand raising awareness of depression, especially among males. This book summarises his journey from depression to wellness in a frank and meaningful way. Excellent and inspirational read from a high profile sportsman who decided to use his successful battle to highlight a pathway for others.
Nov 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this for anyone who has suffered from depression or who is supporting someone who has depression. It is an honest and frank look at symptoms, causes and how to help. I really admire JK for putting his hand up and admitting that he suffers from a mental illness - he has removed a lot of the stigma surrounding it in NZ, especially for men.
Jul 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Enjoyed this book, light as it was. An insight into how someone who seemingly had it all together was fighting such a terrible condition, and still achieving so much. Fantastic that he has taken a lot of stigma away from depression in NZ and particularly for males from the statistics following his advertising campaign.
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this very honest account of JK's experience of depression. It has some very good ideas about recovery and keeping up the sense of hope. I would recommend it for men suffering from depression.
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
An excellent book; not recommended for escapism but is a truly eye opening book. The simplistic writing style used is appropriate to capture a wide audience and Kirwin really manages to shed light on the different and yet interrelated elements that often take place when one suffers depression.
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Awesome. Read it in a couple of days. Honest and inspiring.
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Was an interesting read, I really enjoyed the question and answer section especially as a way to help people you know who have similar thoughts but are struggling to process it.
Apr 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Good on ya, JK. I can't stand rugby but I have a lot of time for this guy.
If you have depression in your life in any way shape or form I highly recommend this. I recommend this even if you don't. It's well written and I learned a lot.
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I found this book very inetresting for general life tools.
Flossy Sparkles
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredible. So amazing Sir John has shared his deepest darkest thoughts. I have learnt so much from it. I continue to refer back to it.
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
An excellent book on dealing with depression. Would be especially good to give to teenage boys
Jul 18, 2013 added it
oe the best reads this year :)
Simon Mccarthy
Feb 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
I have depression and this certainly doesn't help- unless you can laugh at bad writing
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-books
Randomly chosen as book #44 of 2012.
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“Yesterday is gone from my control, so I don't worry about it. I can make decisions that will feed my soul and give me the life that I can feel good about.” 3 likes
“But now I said, 'Mr Anxiety Attack, you haven't beaten me in the past and you're probably not going to beat me in the future. You can come. I'm not going to fight you anymore. I'm going to work out how I'm going to live wit you. You can come, because I know you're going to leave.” 1 likes
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