Book Review | I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression by Terrence Real
Due to the nature of the author’s work (as a psychologist for depressed men) he definitely has more experience with depression and broken people than I do. However, I fundamentally disagree with the victim narrative framing of this book.
Some points we agree on – throughout the book, the author makes a few quick passing references to what I believe are the answer to overcoming depression. Namely: discipline, exercise, and finding a purpose. I would have liked to see the author dive deeper in these topics at the expense of some of the completely off topic climate discussions towards the end of the book and/or the incredibly cliche epilogue (where spoiler alert: you find out that “love is the answer”).
Where we disagree – I think that framing my life as: “a series of decisions that you are free to make by exercising discipline” is ultimately a more positive and uplifting long-term framing than: “I am a victim of generational emotional violence and need to confront my father’s broken inner child by shouting my affliction in public therapy”
Based on the book, the author’s response to my choice of framing would be something like, “This is typical male behavior programmed by a hyper masculine gender biased society.” – (shameless mind reading on my part)
But maybe it isn’t. Maybe the average man isn’t suffering from debilitating depression and maybe we shouldn’t apply logic, used to help tail case depressed men, to all of society in an effort to uproot traditional masculinity and the work ethic of the most entrepreneurial society in human history.
Maybe I’m not old, depressed, or woke enough to understand this book and I don’t doubt that it provides a lot of value to some people. I, however, am not one of those people.
As a palette cleanser, I recommend a hefty dose of pull ups and burpees.