I believe that we learn through stories. We learn that we are not alone. Sally Brampton is an optimist. The founding editor of Elle, a successful journalist and novelist, she loves gardening, friends and life. She is also a depressive. Shoot the Damn Dog is a memoir of her journey through depression. For four years her life stood still, mired in the tears, despair and desperate loneliness of mental illness. The brief joy of a stumbled recovery was cruelly, swiftly followed by a relapse into a deeper darkness, alcohol abuse and two suicide attempts. Hers is a story at once deeply personal and profoundly universal which, by way of shared experience, offers a connection to those who feel so terribly alone and ashamed. Unflinching and humble in its honesty, Shoot the Damn Dog blasts the stigma of depression as a character failing or moral flaw and confronts the terrifying illness Winston Churchill called the black dog, an illness that humiliates, punishes and isolates its sufferers. It is also a practical book, offering ideas about what might help. There are no promises, only suggestions: small steps towards understanding and managing this illness and slowly coming back into the light. With its raw, understated eloquence, this book will speak volumes to any person whose life has been haunted by depression , as well as offering help and understanding to those whose loved ones suffer from this debilitating condition.