Thursday, February 14, 2008
Shoot the Damn Dog
Shoot the Damn Dog is a depression memoir by London journalist and writer Sally Brampton. Brampton writes a surprisingly uplifting account of her experience of chronic depression including two suicide attempts, alcoholism and treatment-resistant depression. That is not to say there is any gloss on this account. On the contrary, Brampton does not spare us any details of the depths she sank to. But there is always hope which reflects her strength of character, even at the darkest moments. Throught the book she emphasizes depression as an illness, not a character flaw, something which people often seem to forget. She suggests, from her own experience, changes in life-style and behaviour which may help those who are depressed although she is, quite rightly, careful to point out that it is different for everyone, one of the reasons that depression is so difficult to treat in the first place. For her, diet, specific vitamin supplements, exercise, yoga and meditation were and continue to be an important part of her recovery. This is a book that everyone affected by depression should read. Whether you are suffering from depression yourself, have a friend or relative who is, or are involved in treating depressed patients, it provides some important insights into the condition. You can listen again to an interview with Brampton on Radio 4 here.