Another Monday, another mental health post! Today I’m reviewing a book that I got on Kindle Unlimited – Hardcore Self-Help: F**k Depression by Robert Duff. I’m not usually a self-help book kind of person. I often find that they oversimplify complicated problems and are written by dubious experts in their fields. However, I absolutely LOVED F**k Depression.
Hardcore Self Help: F**k Depression is the follow up to the best-selling F**K Anxiety. In this book I take the information, tips, and insights that I have gained as a psychologist and translate them into language that doesn’t suck. This is the self-help book for people that don’t usually like self-help books.
In Hardcore Self Help: F**K Depression, I talk to you like a friend. That means I speak directly to you without psychobabble. Instead I tell you why your brain is such a troll. I explain why you have literally no energy or motivation. I tell you why people are so terrible at offering help. Best of all, I tell you how to take realistic steps toward solving these and many other issues caused by depression.
The best thing about this book is that Duff doesn’t talk down to you. In fact, it very much seems like he is on your side, which is something I always appreciate in books like this. He’s also quite funny – I can imagine even very depressed me enjoying the writing style and bluntness of the book.
I also really appreciated that he is clearly an expert – he talks about his expertise in therapy, and is always happy to admit when he is not the best person to talk about certain topics, such as medications. He also goes into the biological reasons why certain methods of combating depression could work. This is something that I’ve never come across before. The best example here is probably the one he calls behavioural activation – the idea of just getting up and doing something that previously made you happy. I have always been skeptical of this idea, but Duff really goes into a) the fact that he knows this is a lot harder than it sounds and b) the ways this combats the neurochemicals in your brain that are adding to your depression. The way he explains everything is just brilliant.
There’s another great chapter where he writes an open letter to people whose loved ones are going through depression/mental health issues. This was so eloquent and amazing – I wish that I had discovered this book ages ago just for this chapter. It said everything that I wish I could have said when I first realised that I was quite unwell, including the fact that friendly advice from people who have never been mentally ill does NOT HELP.
I am definitely going to be recommending this book to friends of mine who are going through tough times at the moment, and once I return this book to Kindle Unlimited, I will be getting out F**k Anxiety, as well.