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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2000
Sorry, I'm sure there were lots of helpful things in this book, but unfortunately, I couldn't get past the negative attitudes. It seemed that women were consistently painted as hysterical personality types who were most often seeking sexual relationships in order to dominate men. However, I kept reading. UNTIL I read a passage in which the authors said they had possibly, during their collective careers, NEVER encountered a woman who was not provoking her husband's abuse, either consciously or subconsciously. Apparently, this is one of the things we hysterical personality types do for fun. Puh-lease. C'mon, abusers don't need any help making excuses for themselves and their behavior. I shudder to think that somewhere there may be a woman clinging to a violent, dangerous relationship, searching her soul to figure out just how she's provoking her husband to beat her - all because she read this book. I'm not denying that there are troubled women who do behave in this way, but to say that only ONE person they had ever seen might actually just be married to a jerk was nothing short of irresponsible and potentially harmful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2000
Sorry, I'm sure there were lots of helpful things in this book, but unfortunately, I couldn't get past the negative attitudes. It seemed that women were consistently painted as hysterical personality types who were most often seeking sexual relationships in order to dominate men. However, I kept reading. UNTIL I read a passage in which the authors said they had possibly, during their collective careers, NEVER encountered a woman who was not provoking her husband's abuse, either consciously or subconsciously. Apparently, this is one of the things we hysterical personality types do for fun. Puh-lease. C'mon, abusers don't need any help making excuses for themselves and their behavior. I shudder to think that somewhere there may be a woman clinging to a violent, dangerous relationship, searching her soul to figure out just how she's provoking her husband to beat her - all because she read this book. I'm not denying that there are troubled women who do behave in this way, but to say that only ONE person they had ever seen might actually just be married to a jerk was nothing sort of irresponsible and potentially harmful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2001
Here's a quote from the 1978 edition. I understand this passage has been toned down a bit in the current edition, but this should give you a good idea of what kind of sick, twisted, so-called Christians the authors are:
"Whenever a battered wife comes seeking advice and consolation because her husband beats her up twice a week, our usual response is, "Oh, really? How do you get him to do that?" In all the scores of cases of this nature that we have analyzed in depth, there was only one case in which the battered wife was not provoking (usually unconsciously) her explosive husband until he reached the boiling point (of course, this does not diminish the husband's responsibility). After a beating, the husband usually feels very guilty and spoils his wife for several weeks. In the meantime, she is getting from people around her the sympathy which she craves, and she is satisfying her unconscious needs to be a masochist"
(pages 96-97)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2001
If I had known this book was the bible-thumper's guide to depression, I would never have purchased it. If I wanted a preacher and a sermon, I would have gone to church. If I had to count how many times the authors said GOD, it would take me weeks. Also, I don't believe in blaming all of your emotional problems on your childhood or the way your parents raised you. But the authors seem to think that if you are depressed, your parents must have done something wrong. Giving this book one star was being generous.
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A Masters-level social worker for over 32 years, I read this book written by two well-meaning psychiatrists with interest. The book contains much detailed information describing depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive and histrionic personality types. It concludes with my favorite chapter, "Chapter 16: How Do You Find Lifelong Happiness?" I say this because the MOST useful suggestions for those suffering from depression seem to come from that chapter.
Where the book's flaws lie have more to do with a male bias that is infused into some of the work. I would disagree with some who might describe the authors as fanatic" Christians. I do think they sometime come across as somewhat male chauvinistic. I disagree with the author where he states that a battered wife is simply "satisfying an unconcious need to be a masochist". Many battered women grew up in homes where they witnessed their own mothers being battered by their husbands and were socialized into believing that this behavior was normal. They also are born and raised in a society where from the beginning women struggle with low self esteem because of the way they are treated from childhood. Thus their "learned helplessness" lead them to have low expectations of their male partners.
It is interesting though where the authors seem to condone violence against women they excuse men for what they call "righteous indignation" for their anger when their wives do not desire to engage in sexual activity with them. The authors come right out and say: "If a wife refuses her husband..she is violating his God given right...to each other's bodies."
I strongly disagree what the authors allege in "Chapter 10: What Precipitating Stresses Bring on Depression" that a "battered wife...may be subconsciously provoking his explosive behavior" as if it were HER fault that her husband was beating her! The author's ignorance about domestic violence comes across very clearly here. There is a tendency to victim blame here absolving the (male) batterer from the responsibility he holds in the violent behavior. Having been myself an educator in the field of domestic violence (as well as having worked with both male and female victims and perpetrators of domestic violence) I would suggest that the authors would do well to educate themselves more in this often ignored (or minimized) area in our society. I often wonder what a better, more peaceful world we would have if the so-called Christian community that delights in gay-bashing and speaking up for the "rights of the unborn" would spend HALF as much energy at trying to help children who have already BEEN born not to suffer from neglect and abuse and those spouses who have been physically abused by partners who feel it is ALSO their God-given right to make their wives totally submissive to them "or else".
This male bias comes across earlier in "Chapter 9: Can Depression Be Acted Out?" where the author alleges "Many a female hysteric seeks a good man to bring down sexually so she can tell everyone he seduced her, thus ruining his reputation." This is the argument male pedophiles use when they sexually abuse young girls and try to defend themselves by saying "but they were so cute. I couldn't help myself."
Despite the male bias often encountered in this work this IS nonetheless a valuable book worth reading offering many suggestions useful to those who suffer from depression and anxiety. Let's not "throw the baby out with the bath water". Spiritual beliefs are VERY important in helping someone cope and recover from depression. As much as good diet, exercise, medication, other self care methods, believing and trusting in a higher power (God to some of us) is crucial in being able to recover from very painful states of mind.
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on July 13, 2002
I read this book about 18 years ago after my pastor recommended it to me. I was in my early 20's and had been experiencing recurring depresssions since my middle teens. I had been suicidal numerous time (e.g., sitting on edge of cliff more than once). I read this book along with my wife and for the first time in my life realized that I was making choices that brought my depression and that I could make other choices that would lead to happiness. I began making those choices and I haven't suffered from a prolonged severe depression since that time. I have now found out that my entire family for 4 generations suffers from depression. This book helped break this in me and I will share it with other members of my family. I recommend it to anyone suffering from depression and or living with anybody who is.
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on August 9, 2002
When I was told to purchase this book, I thought 'Happiness is a Choice' ... yeah right, like I CHOOSE to be depressed, I don't think soooo! I didn't think the book would be worth while at all. In fact, I thought it might try to brainwash or something. But that is not how it works. It gives you insight into depression. It gave me so much to think about. It gave me CONTROL over my depression for the first time. It didn't happen overnight, in fact it didn't happen until about a month after I finished reading the book. But the concepts put forth in this book were so profound, that I was able to say NO to depression for the first time, and after many many years of therapy and medication.
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on November 19, 1996
Dr. Minirth and Dr. Meier take an honest look at depression, its roots, andremedies. Practical advice is also included regarding making and choosingfriends and daily life. Various treatments are discussed, including medication, electroconvulsive therapy, counseling, and psychosurgery (not recommended by the authors). This book is not a book for people who are looking for warm fuzzies. It is a book about working hard to face and overcome depression. If you see depression as purely a medical problem for which the sufferer has no responsibility, this is not likely to be the book for you.
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on October 21, 1998
This is a book every home should have. If you are not depressed you probably know someone who is. It helped me understand what I was feeling. It gave me hope and the knowledge I needed to start a recovery. I kept it with me at all times and read and reread parts. It is more of a manual than a read from front to back book. If something wasnt relelevnt to me at one point I found it was at another time. I give this book to every depressed person I can. It was a lifesavor for me. Even years later I read portions. I highly recomment this book!
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I was embarrassed and ashamed of my lonely, helplessness, and saddness. This book provided not only spiritual but medical answers to questions that I was not will to ask. I did however throw it across the room when I realized that I was truly depressed. God can cure each and every scar that is hidden deep within you, this book was the beginning of my journey back to joy. I am always buying another copy to give to a friend who is afraid to admit to depression. God has the key to the chains that bind you...order and walk forward into joy.
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