Journeys with the Black Dog

Journeys with the Black Dog

Edited by
Tessa Wigney, Kerrie Eyers and Gordon Parker, 2007

Depression can be a dark and lonely experience: sharing with a friend can make all the difference.  In Journeys with the Black Dog many people share their stories of living with depression.

Written with raw honesty and sharp humour, these stories demonstrate it is possible to gain control over depression.  A genuinely inspiring read for anyone who suffers from depression and those who care for us.

ABOUT THE EDITORS, KERRIE EYERS AND GORDON PARKER

Gordon Parker MD, PhD, DSc, FRANZCP, FASSA is Scientia Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales and Executive Director of the Black Dog Institute. He is a renowned researcher with over 30 years’ experience with mood disorders, and is author of Dealing with Depression: A common sense guide to mood disorders.

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 Tracking the Black Dog and Mastering Bipolar Disorder.

Kerry, Tessa and Gordon, along with everyone at the Black Dog Institute in NSW have been wonderful supporters of dNet since the very eaarly days!  Gordon Parker was an inaugural Patron of depressioNet and remains a Patron for our new dNet.

HOW TO BUY?

You can purchase ‘Journeys with the Black Dog’ directly from our dNet for $25.00 (inc p&h)!   Justsend us an email and we will organise it directly with you.
It is also available from all major bookshops in Australia.

Published by:   Allen & Unwin

ISBN:  978-1-74175-264-9

BOOK REVIEWS

“It cuts deep and speaks to the soul as well as the intellect.”

– Professor Geoff Gallop, former Premier of Western Australia

Broken Open

Broken Open

By Craig Hamilton
with Neil Jameson

In a remarkable memoir ABC broadcaster Craig Hamilton tells what it’s like to go mad in public and survive to tell the tale. Hamilton explores how his breakdown and diagnosis of bipolar disorder affected his family, work colleagues and friends. In doing so he lifts the covers on the taboo subject of depression and shows how he stared down his demons to resurrect his life and career.

As a former top sportsman, farmer’s son and coal miner who reinvented himself to establish a successful career with the ABC, Craig believed he was immune to a calamity such as mental illness. From his initial shocking breakdown to his eventual recovery, Craig retraces his steps and highlights the warning signs that might have told him he was in serious trouble.

Broken Open is a gripping read about one man’s journey back from the brink of hell. But it is much more than that. It’s also a personal plea for society to shake off the stigma surrounding people with depression and to bring the subject out into the clear light of day.

Broken Open has also been awarded ‘The SANE Australia Book of the Year’ award!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS, CRAIG HAMILTON AND NEIL JAMESON

Craig started his career as ABC radio’s ‘Sideline eye’ on weekend Rugby League broadcasts in 1994.

Since then he has been a member of the ABC team working on the past 14 Grand Finals, every State of Origin series and a number of Test Matches.

Craig was born and raised in the Hunter Valley town of Singleton and spent 16 years working as an underground coalminer in the Newcastle area before embarking on a radio career fulltime in 1999.

As a talented sportsman, Craig represented both the Newcastle and NSW Country cricket teams, with a career highlight being selected to play against the touring Sri Lankan side in 1990.

In the year 2000, on the eve of the Sydney Olympic Games where he had been assigned to work as a broadcaster, Craig experienced a psychotic episode and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

He spent 12 days in hospital and, since his recovery, has become an Ambassador for Beyond Blue, worked as an advocate for mental health issues, and has addressed many conferences, community forums, High School mental health sessions and lobbied Government representatives for increased funding to support people and their families who have experienced depressive illness.

In 2004 Random House released his highly acclaimed memoir “Broken Open” which gives a very personal account of living with Bipolar Disorder.

Craig is now a much sought after motivational speaker around Australia who tells what it’s like to battle a serious illness. Craig speaks regularly at conferences, including the Comcare National Conference twice, Community Forums, workplaces and schools. Workplace requests for Craig to talk are increasing as more information is sought about depression, anxiety and all the work/life balance issues that go with the busy pace of life today. In 2012 Craig gave the Grace Groom Oration at the Canberra Press Club to commemorate the former CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia.

In sharing his story and experiences he offers hope to others. He lives in Newcastle with his wife and three children.

Neil Jameson is author of Walk Alone, the bestselling biography of soccer star Craig Johnston.

HOW TO BUY?

You can purchase Broken Open online at Craig’s website: Purchase ‘Broken Open’ … or atAmazon.com

Published by:  Bantam

ISBN: 1-86325-515-X

Back From The Brink

Back From The Brink

By Graeme Cowan

Back from the Brink” (BFTB) contains interviews of prominent and everyday Australians on how they overcame depression. In preparation for this book I interviewed over 250 people with depression to find out what they would like to ask the interviewees and what they found most effective in treating their depression.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, GRAEME COWAN

I have had a reasonably successful business career, most recently as a corporate head hunter.  I am divorced and have two children.  I have had five major episodes of depression since I was 21.  The last episode was by far the worst and lasted five years.

During that time I went through an extraordinarily difficult period which resulted in 4 hospitalisations and a suicide attempt. I have tried 23 different medications, underwent ECT (shock treatment) on 19 occasions, tried Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, been coached in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and participated in many other programs related to the treatment of clinical depression. Since October 2005 I have gradually been climbing out of the fog

Graeme lives in Gordon, NSW and has been a strong supporter of our dNet.  He has spoken to many ‘dNetters’ in researching for his book, including depressioNet Founder, Leanne Pethick.

Graeme’s website: iambackfromthebrink.com

HOW TO BUY?

You can purchase ‘Back From The Brink’ from most bookshops and it is also available in both paperback book and as an e-book at http://www.iambackfromthebrink.com/stories.html#order

Published by:  Bird in Hand Media

ISBN: 9-7809803393-0-7

A Woman’s Courage, Inside Depression

A Woman’s Courage, Inside Depression

BY CHRISTINA TAYLOR

Depression is a difficult topic to discuss. Not only can it be quite personal for us all, though you never know what people are going to think of you once you finally reveal yourself. It’s almost seen as a dirty little subject, the taboo word that should remain behind closed doors and not be explored. Yet, obviously, this is not how it should be.
As we slowly begin to progress as a civilization we realize that it is only through sharing our faults, and discussing them, that finally we can understand each other, relate, and most importantly, learn.
One of the greatest lessons I have gained within my own life, is to know that I am not alone. To understand that others have made the same mistakes, and that they too have undergone similar life experiences.

The indecisions from the main character (Christina herself), although at times frustrating to read, are typical human faults that we can all relate to. Of cause, it’s easy to look at such things from a third party point of view and offer wisdom, though I too remember facing such issues for the first time. With no previous experience to fall on, you drown. And this is where the book takes your heart.
As the tale continues, the true depth behind Christina’s depression unravels. It is here that you are smacked across the face with a cold fish. It is blunt, it is in your face, and it does not hold back. It’s a refreshing change to the monopoly of story’s regarding depression in circulation today.
Christina Taylor offers more than just another story, she offers life experience. Taking oneself into the open is a brave and bold move that many of us would not undertake. Though it is this type of strength, dedication, and of cause, courage, that makes “A Woman’s Courage” a must read for us all. Do yourself a favor and order a copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, CHRISTINA TAYLOR

Christina grew up in Rokeby Tasmania and moved to Kensington Victoria in 2001.

She started suffering from Depression in the 1990’s, however at this time she didn’t realise that depression was an actual condition, as she was under the belief that everyone was depressed at times and that it was a normal reaction to the everyday stress of life.

After being diagnosed as depressive she was offered medication and had issues with suicidal thoughts.  She found writing all the emotions and thoughts down in a diary very therapeutic.

Later, after she had been well for 5 years, she decided to publish her diary as an account of that time in her life, in the hopes that others would be able to relate, understand that they are not crazy and so people with depression would feel less isolated.  She also hoped that it would help to prevent suicides.

The sequel to this book is due out in 2014

HOW TO BUY?

You can purchase ‘Understanding Depression’ directly from the author for $8.00 (inc p&h)!   Just click one of the following links to arrange purchase.

Paperback (70% off): http://authorchristinataylor.blogspot.com.au/p/how-to-order-available-world-wide.html

EBook:  http://authorchristinataylor.blogspot.com.au/p/buy-ebook.html

 

Published by: Brolga Publishing

ISBN: 9781922036353

A Better Life

A Better Life

How our darkest moments can be our greatest gift

by Craig Hamilton
with Will Swanton

A frank and inspiring guide to living a happy, fulfilling life with the challenge of a mental health issue.

A Better Life is a rich blend of Craig Hamilton’s own amazing story of how as a busy broadcaster, dad, husband and mental health campaigner, he lives with bipolar.

Craig also shares the experiences of others in the public eye who are dealing with mental illness, including powerful and practical material from Andrew Johns ( bipolar disorder), Garry McDonald ( anxiety and depression), Jessica Rowe ( postnatal depression) and Wally Lewis (depression). Craig’s authentic, practical and reassuring advice is underpinned by a wicked sense of humour that lifts the darker aspects of his story and makes for a truly compelling read.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS, CRAIG HAMILTON AND WILL SWANSTON

In a remarkable memoir ABC broadcaster Craig Hamilton tells what it’s like to go mad in public and survive to tell the tale. Hamilton explores how his breakdown and diagnosis of bipolar disorder affected his family, work colleagues and friends. In doing so he lifts the covers on the taboo subject of depression and shows how he stared down his demons to resurrect his life and career.

As a former top sportsman, farmer’s son and coal miner who reinvented himself to establish a successful career with the ABC, Craig believed he was immune to a calamity such as mental illness. From his initial shocking breakdown to his eventual recovery, Craig retraces his steps and highlights the warning signs that might have told him he was in serious trouble.

Broken Open is a gripping read about one man’s journey back from the brink of hell. But it is much more than that. It’s also a personal plea for society to shake off the stigma surrounding people with depression and to bring the subject out into the clear light of day.

Broken Open has also been awarded ‘The SANE Australia Book of the Year’ award!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS, CRAIG HAMILTON AND NEIL JAMESON

Craig started his career as ABC radio’s ‘Sideline eye’ on weekend Rugby League broadcasts in 1994.

Since then he has been a member of the ABC team working on the past 14 Grand Finals, every State of Origin series and a number of Test Matches.

Craig was born and raised in the Hunter Valley town of Singleton and spent 16 years working as an underground coalminer in the Newcastle area before embarking on a radio career fulltime in 1999.

As a talented sportsman, Craig represented both the Newcastle and NSW Country cricket teams, with a career highlight being selected to play against the touring Sri Lankan side in 1990.

In the year 2000, on the eve of the Sydney Olympic Games where he had been assigned to work as a broadcaster, Craig experienced a psychotic episode and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

He spent 12 days in hospital and, since his recovery, has become an Ambassador for Beyond Blue, worked as an advocate for mental health issues, and has addressed many conferences, community forums, High School mental health sessions and lobbied Government representatives for increased funding to support people and their families who have experienced depressive illness.

In 2004 Random House released his highly acclaimed memoir “Broken Open” which gives a very personal account of living with Bipolar Disorder.

Craig is now a much sought after motivational speaker around Australia who tells what it’s like to battle a serious illness.  Craig speaks regularly at conferences, including the Comcare National Conference twice, Community Forums, workplaces and schools. Workplace requests for Craig to talk are increasing as more information is sought about depression, anxiety and all the work/life balance issues that go with the busy pace of life today.  In 2012 Craig gave the Grace Groom Oration at the Canberra Press Club to commemorate the former CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia.

In sharing his story and experiences he offers hope to others. He lives in Newcastle with his wife and three children.

WILL SWANTON has been a sports writer for a decade. He is the author of two previous books published by Allen + Unwin: Some Day and Murder Ball.

HOW TO BUY

You can purchase Craig’s book on the Allen&Unwin website.

Published by: Allen&Unwin

ISBN: 9781742379739

View from the bottom of the well

View from the bottom of the well

 By Karen Thodsen  

 

The story is almost a contradiction in terms – humour and depression. It is the story of a middle-aged woman working and interacting with colleagues and friends, struggling not to offend or be offended in return while her mental state slowly disintegrates. The narrative is interwoven with facts and research and the darker moments lightened with wry humour.

Ffion Delaney lives alone with her cat Sukey, she has a very interesting and responsible job in education and a handsome man in her life. Recently she has developed a fascination with obituaries – reading other people’s and writing her own! Ffion soon realises that her new found obsession, her growing lack of interest in her new relationship and her inability to concentrate on her work are symptoms of something serious.

Karen Thodsen’s latest book chronicles Ffion’s struggle against the onset of depression with great honesty and compassion. The feelings of complete helplessness and the desire to retreat from all human contact are movingly expressed, as Ffion falls deeper and deeper into her well of depression, until she reaches the bottom and can finally look up and see the light above.
Even though the subject matter in this book is serious, there is still some humour that comes through dealing with children and teachers in Ffion’s working life.
View from the bottom of the well describes the desolation of depression in a clear and unsentimental way and will greatly enhance the reader’s understanding of this very common illness.

 

HOW TO BUY?

Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers

Cost: £5.99 (approx AU$11.00)

Where to Purchase: Online via Austin Macauley, Foyles, or Amazon

ISBN: 9781849636711

Book Details: 120 pages, Paperback

 

 

QUESTIONS ASKED IN AUSTIN MACAULEY PUBLISHERS’ INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

 

How did you come up with the title?:

I heard a doctor talking about antidepressants. He described depression as like being at the bottom of a well and the antidepressants as being the rungs of a ladder to help one climb out.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?:

Women in general because we often relate to a negative self image; teachers because they can relate to the situations described in the book about the classroom and staffroom; as well as anyone who has suffered from or knows someone who has depression because the book gives an insight into the mindset of a depressed person. Also included are facts and how research has affected the way depression is treated.

Is there any lesson or moral you hope your story might reveal to those who read it?: 

That it is possible to laugh at oneself even when one is depressed. With resilience and determination there is hope of recovery.

For the full interview please click on the Title link above.

 


Readers Comments

I found this book very easy to read, understand and relate to, as such I think it would be suited to any mature age group, particularly females, as it is written from this perspective.

Although this is a fictional story, you can clearly see that the writer has a deep understanding of what it can be like for people who experience, or think they may have, depression or depressive episodes.

The book explores what it is like for someone with depression to manage day to day tasks, the extreme thoughts that can come from depression, and the people or events around them.

It also briefly discusses some of the available information regarding studies on depression and the available treatments.

I would recommend View from the Bottom of the Well both to anyone who is unsure if they have depression and those with a clinical diagnosis of depression, as well as to anyone else who wishes to develop an understanding of what it can be like to live with depression.

NikSSC  – 18/12/2014

I Had a Black Dog

I Had a Black Dog

By Matthew Johnstone   

Black Dog is shorthand for a disease the millions of people suffer from – depression. Artist and writer 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.

This book is VERY easy reading – perfect for the ‘non-reader’ and to have as a ‘coffee table’ book for anyone to pick up browse through.  It has one sentence per page and the pictures tell the powerful story while maintaining a ‘lighter’ tone treating depression as if it were a black dog.  A quick read will give a very poignant insight into the effects off depression,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, MATTHEW JOHNSTONE

Matthew Johnstone was a man who appeared to have it all. He was at the peak of his career and winning big business, but for many years he hid a dark secret. Matthew Johnstone was suffering from clinical depression.

Matthew Johnstone made the classic life choices of someone with depressive tendencies. “Depression isn’t about feeling down, it’s about being devoid of feeling altogether”, he says. “I changed jobs, relationships and countries regularly. I had that thing of ‘if I just do this, or go there, I’ll be OK’. It was all about running away from what was happening inside.” Matthew Johnstone finally sought help and dysthymia was diagnosed – a chronic major depression.

HOW TO BUY?

You can purchase ‘ I had a Black Dog ‘ from all major bookshops in Australia or online fromDymocks Bookstores

Published by:  Pan McMillan Australia

ISBN:  9780330421836

COMMENTS FROM OTHER PEOPLE LIKE US

I just bought the book called I Had a Black Dog for my daughter.  My husband use to have it and we use to read it often. The drawings were quite humorous and it always made us smile.

– Olga 2012

Black Dog Daze

Black Dog Daze

By Andrew Robb  

Black Dog is shorthand for a disease the millions of people suffer from – depression.

Andrew Robb lived with an unspoken fear that what he passed off as ‘not being good in the mornings’ was something darker: a black dog whose daily visit lasted longer as the years passed.

Worried about stigmas and letting people down, he avoided confronting the problem for four decades, the adrenaline of high-pressure and high profile jobs offering the ideal antidote. Ultimately, realising his ambitions meant having to face up to this very private demon.Andrew Robb’s battle with the black dog has touched a chord with many Australians.

His memoir explores the challenges of managing depression, political ambition and life in the Liberal Party.Andrew Robb’s career has been devoted to the Liberal cause-as Federal Director of the Liberal Party, as Executive Director of the National Farmers Federation, during seven years in the Packer business empire, and now in parliamentary politics.

His memoirs document the private struggle and the public life of the Liberal Party’s chief political strategist. It offers readers an insight into one man’s lifelong battle with a private demon amidst the drama and tumult of contemporary Australian politics.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, ANDREW ROBB

Andrew Robb is the Shadow Minister for Finance and Debt Reduction. He was elected to the Federal seat of Goldstein in 2004, and has previously served as Federal Director and Campaign Director of the Liberal Party. He has held positions at PBL and the National Farmers’ Federation, and has been a board member at Sinclair Knight Merz, Garvan Research Foundation, Menzies Research Centre and the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring organisation. In 2003 Andrew was awarded the Office of the Order of Australia and Centenary Medal for his service to agriculture, politics and the community. – See more at: https://www.mup.com.au/items/120073#sthash.Hv5pmnfl.dpuf

.Andrew Robb was born in 1951 and grew up on a dairy farm in Epping (north of Melbourne) with his parents and 8 brothers and sisters.

He later moved to Reservoir, attended Parade Christian Brothers College and later gained a Diploma of Agricultural Science from Dookie Agricultural College and a first class Honours Degree in Economics from La Trobe University, married Maureen and later had three children Tom, Joe and Pip.

Between 1972 – 1989 he worked as an animal health officer and agricultural economist for the Department of Agriculture (Victoria), as an economist for the National Farmers’ Federation, and then became Executive Director of the Cattle Council of Australia and later Executive Director of the National Farmers’ Federation.

He served as Federal Director and Campaign Director of the Liberal Party (including directing the succesful 1996 campaign) until 1997 when he worked for Publishing and Broadcasting Limited and then built an Australia wide direct marketing technology company.

After 2001 he worked independently providing strategic advice to major companies around Australia and overseas, including as a member of the investment team for the Gorgon Gas Project.

He was awarded the Order of Australia and Centenary Medal for service to agriculture and politics in 2003, all the while being heavily involved in the community from 1998 serving as a Board Member of Sinclair Knight Merz, Garvan Medical Research Foundation, Menzies Research Centre, Australian Direct Marketing Association, Big Brother Big Sister and the YWCA Leadership Group, and was elected to the Federal seat of Goldstein in 2003.

He had many other positions within the Australian Government during the following years and in 2011 Andrew released his book on his struggle with a depressive illness, Black Dog Daze: Public Life, Private Demons, which was published by Melbourne University Publishing, he was then appointed as Minister for Trade and Investment in the new Abbott government in 2013.

More about Andrew Robb can be found in our Well Known People Like Us section.

Andrew Robb is the Shadow Minister for Finance and Debt Reduction. He was elected to the Federal seat of Goldstein in 2004, and has previously served as Federal Director and Campaign Director of the Liberal Party. He has held positions at PBL and the National Farmers’ Federation, and has been a board member at Sinclair Knight Merz, Garvan Research Foundation, Menzies Research Centre and the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring organisation. In 2003 Andrew was awarded the Office of the Order of Australia and Centenary Medal for his service to agriculture, politics and the community. – See more at: https://www.mup.com.au/items/120073#sthash.Hv5pmnfl.dpuf

HOW TO BUY?

This book can be purchased through the Melbourne University Publishing website.

Published by:  Melbourne University Press

ISBN:  9780522858570