- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Ships from: Sacramento, CA
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
This groundbreaking book is the "pathway out of darkness" that these men and their families seek. Real reveals how men can unearth their pain, heal themselves, restore relationships, and break the legacy of abuse. He mixes penetrating analysis with compelling tales of his patients and even his own experiences with depression as the son of a violent, depressed father and the father of two young sons.
"...reveals the virtual epidemic of depression among men... discusses causes including wounds common to boyhood, patterns of disconnection, pursuit of money and power, substance abuse, womanizing, and violence."
Real, a family therapist and teacher at the Cambridge (Mass.) Family Institute, contends that most male depression is undiagnosed because it is veiled by addictive and compulsive behavior using such varied "drugs" as alcohol, work, violence, and sex. Its key symptom is "relational immaturity," an inability or unwillingness to truly confide in and be vulnerable before a partner or child. Real traces this problem in part to the gender-polarized socialization of American children. From an early age, boys are encouraged to seek esteem through "hierarchical competition" while being discouraged from expressing feelings and bonding with others. In addition, boys sometimes "carry" the depression suffered by their fathers and expressed through emotional abuse or neglect. Much of Real's argument has been made by other clinical and popular psychologists, but he states his case particularly vividly, drawing richly on his own family history, his clinical practice, myth and legend, film and fiction. He also offers advice and case studies on how the therapist might resolve depression by helping patients overcome their fear of intimacy and redefine their notion of success. He also recounts active therapeutic interventions to stop the kind of toxic family dynamics that a husband's depression can help generate. On the downside, Real overfocuses on the father-son relationship; there is too little here on how depressed or narcissistic mothers may contribute to long-term male depression, much less on how siblings or societal factors may do so. Stylistically, it is somewhat marred by repetition, and the occasional use of a clumsy phrase ("rageaholism") or hyperbolic generalization, such as a reference to "the state of alienation we call manhood."
Fortunately, such lapses are a minor part of what otherwise is an important and rewarding work.
Posted June 27, 2001
This book sheds light on an lot of male pain and ensuiing behaviour of selfmedication through various kinds of addictive or selfaggrandising behaviour. It dispels the notion that it is this pain that should be the target of initial therapy however. Without treating the additive behavior which is created to keep the pain at bay, no real progress can be made. Waht makes the book so touching and not patronising as many books on depression can be, is the fact that the author generously shares with us his own pain and journey to recovery. This along with the touching case studies makes for a moving book which will impart a lot of insight.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.