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I Had a Black Dog [Paperback]

Matthew Johnstone
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

24 May 2007
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. It was Winston Churchill who popularized the phrase Black Dog to describe the bouts of depression he experienced for much of his life. Matthew Johnstone, a sufferer himself, has written and illustrated this moving and uplifting insight into what it is like to have a Black Dog as a companion and how he learned to tame it and bring it to heel.

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I Had a Black Dog + Living with a Black Dog + Quiet the Mind
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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson Publishing (24 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845295897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845295899
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,340 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

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

'I had a Black Dog deftly expresses how lonely and isolating
depression can be for sufferers. Poignant and humorous in equal measure.'
-- Sunday Times, Style Magazine, May 13, 2007

'This is 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 Association of Pastoral Care For Mental Health Journal Association of Pastoral Care For Mental Health Journal

About the Author

MATTHEW JOHNSTONE is an artist, writer and exhibited photographer. New Zealand born, he's worked in advertising in Sydney, San Francisco and New York. He lives in Sydney with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expresses in pictures what words struggle to 11 Jun 2007
By Mark Meynell TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|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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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 9 Jun 2007
By Keren
Format:Paperback
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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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 28 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback
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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has become my friend 6 July 2008
Format:Paperback
I am just recovering from my latest 'depressive episode' and wish I had found this book earlier. Instantly puts into images the feelings I have being suffering from and not able to describe myself. This book is so small and light-weight I can carry it anywhere, I find it an enormous help to read whenever the dark thoughts come. This is exactly what you need when your concentration is low, 10 minutes cover to cover and instantly feel lifted.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black dog explained 27 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best 21 Jun 2008
Format:Paperback
I have little to add to previous reviews. I'm a very verbal person, not very visual. But when I'm deeply in my depression I can't concentrate long enough to process ideas properly. Someone gave me this book and the simple pictures touched me as words couldn't. I felt understood. The way in which Andrew Johnstone simultaneously externalises and owns his depression - it's a black dog that takes you over, but at the same time it's one you've got to learn to accept and live with - is to me the best way of thinking about it.

I've lent this book out many times, including to a couple of clinical psychologists and a consultant psychiatrist, and they've all loved it. Please do buy or recommend it for anyone you know who has a black dog of their own, or who is close to anyone with one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It captured how I felt... 19 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback
i came across this book last year when my depressive breakdown was at its worst and I went from being articulate to being unable to describe even to myself what it felt like. When I saw this book I had to have it - it summed up all those complex emotions and effects. I showed it to people to say what I couldn't for myself. It was like discovering that someone else really did understand...

I am buying Living with a Black Dog expecting the same simple yet profound insights. There are lots of books about what depression is, causes and treatment approaches, but they are too heavy in the worst fog, or full of lots of expectations - this gives snapshots of insight not neat answers, but that is what is so powerful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars almost everything I have tried to say
So grateful for this little book, it helped me understand the what's, why's, where's and when's while also providing some how too. Great read with lovely illustrations. Read more
Published 16 days ago by jokom
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
Being a sufferer of mental health problems is very difficult to discuss and explain. This "book" using both written word and illustrations sets many scenarios explaining stages... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
Tells it exactly as it is. . . . . . Good support to have at hand when you can't release the lead.
Published 1 month ago by Looby
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant easy to read book
This book gets the point across without pages of waffle, simple, to the point and a good book to pick up on a regular basis when necessary, thanks.
Published 1 month ago by Tracey
5.0 out of 5 stars a great help and resource
I think this is very good to share with people around you to help them understand what you feel like... Read more
Published 1 month ago by dao_cao
1.0 out of 5 stars Cannot download to Kindle
I only wish I could review this book. I have tried twice to purchase it but all I get when I open my Kindle is'Download Error'. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Myfanwy
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, humorous picture book of a serious problem.
I heard about this book from television exposure, and decided to give it a try. Some of the illustrations that go with the words are quite clever, and I'd recommend this to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Batthink
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!
A fantastic book well worth reading even if you don't suffer from depression! The book is far from depressive.... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Francisca
4.0 out of 5 stars Good understanding.
Easy to read and understand why we do and feel a certain way.
For people around depression an insight to recognise the signs and behaviour .
Published 2 months ago by Dawn
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Love the book it is a very simplified way of explaining to people how you are feeling and explaining all about depression. Read more
Published 2 months ago by una5291
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