Living With a Black Dog

In 2008 my wife Ainsley and I published Living With a Black Dog: How to take care of someone living with depression while looking after yourself.
I had thought about doing a book of this nature but I didn't think I had another one in me but then Pan MacMillan approached me and suggested I co-author the book with Ainsley.
So what started out as a bunch of scribbles has become a beautifully produced book (if I do say so myself) that is twice the size of the 1st.

What really excites us about this new book is the old cliche' of there's a little bit of something in it for everyone'. Where the 1st book may have given a voice to those who couldn't articulate what's been going on for them, this one will work more as a work book for couples, siblings, friends, employers & employees etc etc.

I gave it to a friend recently to have a look at and he shared it with his wife and he said the biggest thing he got out of it was (a) communication, communication, communication & (b) the sufferer taking a bigger responsibility in getting well. Which is exactly the kind of response we were hoping for.

It's available in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Greece, Japan and Taiwan.
The book was launched at the Black Dog Institute here in Sydney in April 2008.

In 2009 the book launched in the UK and it made the top 10 selling books in the London Times which made us a little proud.

I just wanted to thank everyone who has written to me in support of my little book(s). I really fought with doing the 1st book back in 2005 and your emails and letters have made me realise that what my ego thinks is absolutely irrelevant to what's truly important. So thanks again for the encouragement, it means a lot.

Woof woof !

Matthew J


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your book. It made me cry when I remembered what it was like to live with depression, and your book helped my partner understand his depression as well.

sheila srinivasan said...

Hi Matthew,

I read living with a back dog and have passed it to my friends. I have depression for about the longest year and a half now, but i feel comforted and motivated to push on and get rid of my black dog. I have two (real) white dogs, and they help me too :)

please continue writing. you have helped many people.

Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for Living with a Black Dog. At first my partner poured scorn on it as 'just another self help book' but when I did get him to look at it he finally agreed to see the doctor. A major breakthrough! The book gave us a talking point and we've never stopped talking since. I can see some light at the end of the tunnel now, after more than 3 very difficult years. Thankyou!

Anonymous said...

I am thanking my lucky stars over and over that I found this book!! My husband has just been diagnosed with depression and on the same day chose to leave me. This book has come at a time when I need it. I found it opened up my eyes and answered so much for me. I only hope that it works out with my partner so that I can share it with him.

Thank you so much, I really mean it! :)

Brisbane, Australia

Anonymous said...

I dont know what colour my dogs are yet but I feel I have a black one very much in my life and have taken steps towards putting the leash back on him and off of me. I read "Living with a Black Dog" in the shops and started crying because it was just so RIGHT and I felt finally, something my partner will understand, simplified and uplifting. He is trying and I am trying and with your book on his night stand it makes the aubject a little easier to approch. I just brought "I had a Black Dog" and am so thankful for the website links and continued reading at the back, you are wonderful kind people for stepping outside your pained minds, putting pen to paper and helping others like us feel we are not alone and there is hope at the end of this furry black tunnel:)

Kylie said...

Thank you , Thank you , Thank you!
Reading your work helps me to breath again.
I am 30 and have been surviving with what I now know as my Black Dog since I was 16. I say surviving because thats all I have known how to do. Until recently I feared that I would never get sorted and I would never get "better" well. With the support of an amazing pyschotherapist, family and friends I am for the first time feeling hopeful. I purchased I HAD A BLACK DOG and LIVING WITH A BLACK DOG and I am so greatful for these two books. I have done a lot of searching and your books describe the moods, feelings, thoughts perfectly. The pictures say it all and when you are feeling these ways finding the words is the hardest thing to do to describe to those around you what you are going through. My finance is reading as much as he can to support me and he too loves your books, because for those who dont have their own balck dog it can be tough to understand. I am no longer ashamed of my black dog and am learning now thanks to you, to embrace him. I am taking responsibility to getting well and changing our family legacy for my daughter.
Kylie, Sydney Australia

caroline said...

Hello, Fantastic book, 'Living with a Black Dog',. Would love to see the other book, I have Black Dog,. Although i am diagnosed Bipolar, this book explains my Depressed side,my mania is not too high!! and is debatable if it's me or Bp,. I can't praise your'e book enough and pass it on to lots of people,. THANKYOU VERY VERY MUCH,amazing, brilliant work, Caroline ENGLAND,.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. You might not realise how much your words have helped me and my family to put into perspective what our son and us are going through and I believe will continue to live with for some time to come. My son was on a path to becoming an elite sporstsman nearly three years ago when the black dog came into his life and inevitably ours. As the parent closest to him, I seemed to 'cop' so much of his frustrations, and when I came across your books while looking for some other book (whose title I cannot even remember) I actually started crying right there in the store. I understood that I was not failing, that it wasn't all my fault, and that my son really did still love us. It made sense of so much that we had been through, and made us realise that it was not our son doing what he was doing and saying, but his 'black dog'. It has helped myself, my husband, my son's younger sister, my son's coach...and a series of his friends to come to grips with what it is like living with a black dog. My son is still reluctant to open up to many people about his black dog, but to those he has, your words have helped greatly.One day we still dream of him getting rid of the black dog and achieving the best that he can within his sport, but most of all, being a happy person.