Living with a Black Dog Book Summary - Living with a Black Dog Book explained in key points

Living with a Black Dog summary

Matthew Johnstone

Brief summary

Living with a Black Dog is a powerful book by Matthew Johnstone that provides insight into living with depression. Through personal experiences and thoughtful illustrations, it offers valuable perspective and practical advice for both sufferers and their loved ones.

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    Living with a Black Dog
    Summary of key ideas

    Understanding and Coping with Depression

    In Living with a Black Dog by Matthew Johnstone, the author uses the metaphor of a black dog to represent depression. He shares his personal experience of living with this 'black dog' and how it affected his life. Johnstone explains that the black dog is always with him, sometimes lurking in the background and at other times, overwhelming him.

    Johnstone describes how depression affects his daily life, making it difficult to get out of bed, concentrate, or enjoy things he once loved. He also discusses the stigma surrounding mental illness and how it can prevent people from seeking help. He emphasizes the importance of understanding and supporting those with depression.

    Supporting a Loved One with Depression

    In the second part of Living with a Black Dog, Johnstone focuses on the perspective of a loved one supporting someone with depression. He explains that living with a person who has depression can be challenging, and it's essential to understand the illness and be patient and supportive.

    Johnstone provides practical advice for supporting a loved one with depression, such as encouraging them to seek professional help, being patient and understanding, and taking care of oneself. He also emphasizes the importance of open communication and not being judgmental.

    Overcoming Depression

    In the final part of the book, Johnstone discusses strategies for managing and overcoming depression. He emphasizes the importance of seeking professional help and adhering to the prescribed treatment plan. He also highlights the role of lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep, in managing depression.

    Johnstone also discusses the importance of mindfulness and staying in the present moment. He shares his personal experience with mindfulness and how it helped him manage his depression. He also encourages people with depression to engage in activities they enjoy and find purpose and meaning in their lives.


    In conclusion, Living with a Black Dog by Matthew Johnstone is a heartfelt and insightful exploration of depression. Through his personal experience and practical advice, Johnstone aims to increase awareness and understanding of depression and provide support for those living with it. The book offers hope and encouragement to those struggling with depression and their loved ones, emphasizing that it is possible to live a fulfilling life despite the presence of the 'black dog'.

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    What is Living with a Black Dog about?

    Living with a Black Dog by Matthew Johnstone is a heartfelt and insightful book that explores the author's personal experience with depression. Through beautiful illustrations and honest storytelling, Johnstone offers practical advice and encouragement for anyone living with or supporting a loved one with mental illness. This book provides a unique perspective on the challenges of mental health and the importance of seeking help.

    Living with a Black Dog Review

    Living with a Black Dog is a heartfelt book that offers invaluable insights into living with depression. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Through honest personal stories and relatable illustrations, it provides a compassionate and empathetic understanding of depression.
    • It offers practical strategies and coping mechanisms for dealing with depression, helping readers navigate their own journey with mental health.
    • With its sincere tone and relatable anecdotes, the book manages to tackle a difficult topic with grace and authenticity, making it anything but boring.

    Who should read Living with a Black Dog?

    • Anyone who has experienced or is currently living with depression
    • People who want to understand and support loved ones who are dealing with depression
    • Caregivers, friends, or family members of someone struggling with mental health issues

    About the Author

    Matthew Johnstone is an author and illustrator who has used his personal experiences with depression to create impactful books. Through his work, he aims to raise awareness and provide support for those struggling with mental health issues. Johnstone's book, 'Living with a Black Dog,' has received widespread acclaim for its honest and insightful approach to the topic. He continues to be a leading voice in the conversation surrounding mental well-being.

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    Living with a Black Dog FAQs 

    What is the main message of Living with a Black Dog?

    The main message of Living with a Black Dog is that depression is a serious but manageable condition that can be understood and overcome with the right support and strategies.

    How long does it take to read Living with a Black Dog?

    The reading time for Living with a Black Dog varies depending on the reader. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Living with a Black Dog a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Living with a Black Dog is a valuable read for anyone looking to understand and support those with depression. It offers insight, empathy, and practical advice.

    Who is the author of Living with a Black Dog?

    The author of Living with a Black Dog is Matthew Johnstone.

    What to read after Living with a Black Dog?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Living with a Black Dog, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
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    • Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
    • The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
    • Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung
    • Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman
    • Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price
    • Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
    • Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
    • The Twenty-four Hour Mind by Rosalind D. Cartwright