Tracking The Black Dog

Tracking The Black Dog

Edited By
Kerrie Eyers 2006

Tracking the Black Dog is the product of Black Dog Institute’s inaugural Writing Competition – drawing from highlights of the hundreds of entries.

The compilation weaves its way from ancient Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia and Egypt to modern times via mediaeval witchcraft, devils and superstition, the Renaissance, and Victorian rationalism.    Comical, poignant and learned, these excerpts range from Anubis and faithful Argos, beautiful early myths and legends, through werewolves to darker medieval superstitions, witch hunts, alchemy, astrology and Knights errant, touch on Boswell and Johnson and arrive at mesmerism and ouija boards of Victorian times.

Churchill’s courage in the face of his illness, and references to black dog from our own times are also uncovered, links in a chain stretching back to our forebears. All served with a dollop of black humour.

The result is a lovely tapestry bringing together historical, literary, folkloric, psychological and linguistic threads to build a societal picture of depression.

Anyone who has ever experienced depression, or who wants to know more about this illness, will find the black dog’s trail through history a fascinating read.


Kerrie Eyers MA (Psych), DipEd, MPH, MAPS is a psychologist, teacher and editor with many years’ experience in mental health, based at the Black Dog Institute, Sydney.

Gordon Parker and Kerrie Eyers are co-editors of Journeys with the Black Dog and Mastering Bipolar Disorder.


You can purchase ‘Tracking the Black Dog’ online from the UNSW Book Shop.

Published by:  UNSW Press

ISBN:  0-82840-812-3


What’s in a name you might ask?  Well nothing and everything.

It’s nothing if you don’t live up to the name, and everything when it has resonance.

And for those who have experienced the dark fog of depression, the Black Dog certainly has meaning and that’s what this book conveys with humour and empathy.

–  Dr Norman Swan,  Host, ‘The Health Report’, ABC Radio National

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