The title of this book is I HAD a black dog rather than I HAVE a black dog which is odd because at the end Matthew Johnstone makes it clear that his book is about taming the black dog and making it walk to heel He even says that his black dog may be always be part of his life and by embracing it he has learnt to re evaluate and simplify his life I assume the use of the past tense is to instill hope that depressive episodes can and do pass.My wife bought me this book, and herself the companion book Living with a black dog, ten years ago during a particularly bad depressive episode I was experiencing at the time I am lucky, I suppose my depression responds well to medication and I have managed to stay well on a combination of Prozac, lifestyle changes, and the love and understanding I get from my dear long suffering wife who has worked tirelessly to challenge my negative thinking and build my self esteem over the past 16 years since we first met.Recently, now in fact , the Black Dog has returned I know with the help of my wife, my own innate good sense and and determination as well as my GP s prescribing I will bring my Black Dog to heel again But in the dark hours before the dawn when doubts are at there worst I find myself reaching for this book It s calm humour, good sense, and imagination have nailed the experience of depression for me at least I recognise myself in its pages and its message gives me hope when I need it most I had a Black Dog has spent the past ten years on a series of book shelves, unloved and largely unread but I am so glad I didn t throw it out or take it to the charity shop like so many other books past their sale by date.Like most of the other reviewers of this book I cannot recommend it highly enough. Simple and honest review of the often misunderstood illness that is depression.I highly recommend this as an honest and very accessible book Would be also good for helping younger sufferers in a less wordy book as the majority of publications on this topic can be very wordy and dry in subject matter.The artwork and brief sentences cover all the main points and reassure the reader there is a light at the end of the tunnel.If you or someone you know is suffering from depression then buy and read this bookit will help. I m having a bad time at present, and this book was recommended to me by my councillor I m not sorry I followed her advice, and I purchased this book via the kindle format The parallels between what the author has gone through with depression, and my own experience of it is both amazing and in a way reassuring Matthew has been there, done that and got the t shirt with this condition The illustrations personify so many aspects of this wretched condition, those illustrations along with Matthew s text, has helped to raise my spirits whenever I dip into the book Because those of us suffering depression exhibit very little or no visible signs of the condition, it s sometimes hard for non sufferers to understand the destructive effects depression can have on your daily life This book is no quick fix for the condition, because there isn t one, but I m finding this book a valuable addition to my anti depression arsenal I can t recommend this book highly enough Thank you Matthew. Excellent book that accurately and emotively describes the experience of depression Wonderful concept and well executed A must read for anyone suffering with depression and useful for family to get literally a picture of what it experience the all consuming feeling of depression For those who want their families partners to understand the experience, I recommend Mathew Johnstone s second book, living with a black dog that was co written with his wife, to express not just her experiences of her husbands journey, but her feelings too. I Had a Black Dog says with wit, insight, economy and complete understanding what other books takepages to say Brilliant and indispensable Stephen Fry 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 TimesThere are many different breeds of Black Dog affecting millions of people from all walks of life The Black Dog is an equal opportunity mongrelIt was Winston Churchill who popularized the phrase Black Dog to describe the bouts of depression he experienced for much of his lifeMatthew 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