HealthMental Health Watch: The Black Dog of Depression

Watch: The Black Dog of Depression

I had a black dog, his name was depression.

I had a black dog, his name was depression

At its worst, depression can be a frightening, debilitating condition. Millions of people around the world live with depression. Many of these individuals and their families are afraid to talk about their struggles, and don’t know where to turn for help. However, depression is largely preventable and treatable. Recognizing depression and seeking help is the first and most critical towards recovery.

In collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO) to mark World Mental Health Day, writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the “black dog of depression“. This is Johnstone’s first book published in Australia in 2005. It is an uplifting illustrated book on what it is to have depression. Johnstone wrote it after the tragic events of 9/11, while living in New York. He says,

I didn’t wake up on Sept 12th and think ‘I’m going to change my life!’ it was more a period of osmosis. I realised that life is intrinsically short and that I’d been doing life, not living it due to having a significant unwanted companion trotting along beside me.  Depression had been in and out of my life since my late 20’s and I invested huge amounts of energy in covering it up. People warned me against creating such a book, that I would lose my job, responsibilities and even friends but I have to say that apart from marrying my wife and having my children; this was one of the best things I’d ever done with my life. Not only did it set me free but I began to live my life authentically. The biggest lesson in all this for me was helping others is one of the greatest ways we can help ourselves.


More information on the book can be found here.

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