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I Had a Black Dog Flexibound – 24 May 2007


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Product details

  • Flexibound: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (24 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845295897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845295899
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 0.8 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew Johnstone is an artist, writer and exhibited photographer. New Zealandborn, he worked in advertising in Sydney, San Francisco and New York. He now lives in Sydney with his family. He and his wife, Ainsley, know all too well what it's like to live with a 'black dog' - Matthew has personally experienced the hell of depression, while Ainsley has first-hand knowledge of the frustration and confusion almost always felt by those who care for a depressed person. Together they are uniquely
able to offer practical and helpful advice.

Product Description

Review

A beautiful book, worth owning for the author's illustrations alone. In 48 pages Matthew condenses insight, advice and inspiration. (Association of Pastoral Care for Mental Health Journal)

Says with wit, insight, economy and complete understanding what other books take 300 pages to say. Brilliant and indispensable. (Stephen Fry)

Finally, a book about depression that isn't a prescriptive self-help manual ... deftly expresses how lonely and isolating depression can be for sufferers. Poignant and humorous in equal measure. (Sunday Times Style Magazine)

Book Description

There are many different breeds of Black Dog affecting millions of people from all walks of life. The Black Dog is an equal opportunity mongrel.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Mark Meynell VINE VOICE on 11 Jun. 2007
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
I couldn't agree more with the previous reviewer. This is a fantastic book - helpful personally and for lending. It is one of those books that you can easily put in the had of someone in the midst of the darkest of moments without feeling that it will be too pushy, overwhelming, bossy or wordy.

I'm not actually a great believer in the adage that a picture is worth more than 1000 words. For they have different functions and work best in different contexts. But the greatest art can brilliantly capture the full reality of life, with all its visceral emotions and heady passions as well as its bleak despair and lostness. Now the pictures in this book are not exactly great art as such and you wouldn't expect to find them in a posh gallery. But they DO capture the reality of depression - in such a way as to say 'i know how you feel' without overtones of being sickeningly glib and condescending. For Matthew Johnstone is clearly someone who knows what it feels like - he's been there and still battles.

So when someone is really under the storm-clouds, they can at least point to some of the individual pages in this book, and without fuss, struggles or even words, immediately articulate what it's like. That can only be good for those struggling to battle and those struggling to love those who battle.

Brilliant.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John Mac on 27 Nov. 2011
Format: Flexibound
I have a "Blck Dog" but I could not explain what it was like and I would try to tell relatives and even my Wife. Now along comes Matthew Johnstone and now I just hand people this book and they "get the Picture" and I can even laugh at how Matthew explaines the "Curse" by the use of cartoons plus the book is so easy to read. This is a book for everyone not just for the likes of me!
By the way I had a black dog, a Labrador, and his uncoditional love saved me many times, His name was Julius.
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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Keren on 9 Jun. 2007
Format: Flexibound
I adore this book! I'm suffering from depression, have been for a few years, and I find it difficult to express in words how I feel. These pictures really sum it up for me. It reminds me that I'm not alone, others feel the same too. I've been making my closest friends read this so they can see.

The only thing, for me, is that I have no happy ending yet. It says if you take the right steps it will pass, but this isn't true for me.

But I've seen nothing like this before, and I'll continue buying it for people.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. J. Wyman on 22 April 2009
Format: Flexibound
In my work as a counsellor I come across many people suffering from depression. It really is the most terrible illness and the stigma attached to it by our society just helps to make the sufferer's life worse - nobody chooses to have depression and they can't 'just pull themselves together' - it's not that simple!
This book is amazing, there is not one of my clients that I have shown it to who cannot relate to all or part of it. A few have just broken down in tears as here, finally, is the proof that someone else understands what they are going through.
I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone suffering from depression or even anybody who knows someone suffering from depression. Matthew Johnstone shows that he has been there, understands how it feels and that there is indeed every hope for recovery. This is so important for people who are currently in the depths of despair.
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By JupiterHarley on 28 Oct. 2007
Format: Flexibound
This book says it all in a very simple way, and gives people who don't suffer from depression an idea of what it is like to live with. For loved ones, friends or family, who don't suffer, this book offers a glimpse into what can be a very lonely place for those that are suffering. This book can be read in about 5 minutes, page to page, but it says what a 300 page book says, with pictures and clear simple statements. So much simpler for loved ones and friends to understand quickly but with understanding.

It also helps people who do suffer see that they are not alone and that depression is something that can be lived with.

I loved it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JuJuDollie on 29 Sept. 2008
Format: Flexibound
I have suffered depression for years but have found it hard to describe or explain to anyone who has not had this condition. This book helped liberate me and let family and friends understand me more fully.

They say a picture paints a thousand words and this is true of this book. It doesn't sanitise depression or sensationalise it but rather shows how most of us who live with it, well, um, live with it.

I have read other text books on depression which are great but for family & friends this is the one they should read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AJAF on 12 April 2010
Format: Flexibound
I can't recommend this book enough - I have bought several copies and lend them to clients suffering from depression. The book's clever wording and superb illustrations manage to convey exactly what it is like to suffer from depression. This in itself can be very helpful as the sufferer no longer feels quite as alone and isolated as they may well have felt up until then. Secondly, many readers have said that they now see their depression in a different light - rather than seeing it as something they ARE, they can see it as something they HAVE and which, importantly, they can do something about (with the right sort of help and support#. This is a hugely important change, as, ultimately, this is the best way out of depression. And thirdly, the book is very helpful in enabling the relatives and friends of a sufferer to understand what he/she is going through, which makes it much easier for them to offer the right sort of support and encouragement.

So, if you (or someone you love) are suffering from the black dog, get hold of a copy, read it carefully, read it again and again, as many times as you need to . . . and then pass it on, if you can bear to, to others in the same boat.
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