Tuesday, 25 September 2007

This is a pic from Living With a Black Dog. It's from the chapter about what not to say. In this case don't say 'BE A MAN !!'
which in our research we found many women had said this to their partners. Depression is a serious illness not a sign of weakness.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

These are a couple of images from Living with a Black Dog, published by Pan Macmillan.

It's pretty much the same format as I Had a Black Dog but targeted towards the partner, friend, parent. teacher, employer and care giver of someone who has depression.

People who have any form of major illness, be it phyical or mental are always the centre of their immediate universe and the people who look after them or live with them are the ones trying to keep everything together. They have to deal with the illness itself, the pain, the sadness, loss, foul moods, overseeing medication, keeping spirits up and so on.

Through many interviews, research, insight and experience from our own relationship, this new book will offer a road map on how to navigate any kind of relationship when going through a depressive illness from what you may have noticed in someone, to what not to say, what to do, how to do it, and how the caregiver can take steps to fortify and protect themselves. Watch this space for further details.

Click on the images to see them larger.

Don't be an arm chair general and give endless unfounded advice or orders.

Learn to recognise signs and triggers, also know when to give a bit of space.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Photographs by Matthew Johnstone

My interest in photography was spurned from one of my worst depressive episodes in San Francisco. When I moved there I was single, I didn’t know that many people and the job I had gone there for was a real dud.

Photography was my way of making myself get out of the house. I began to seek beautiful images in areas you would least expect to find them like industrial wastelands, shipyards, railway lines and bad, down trodden areas in the city. I called this somewhat dangerous pastime ‘hunting’ it was all about finding the elusive gold in the ashes, the gem in the crud. Which in the abstract sense was exactly what I was trying to do with myself.

One aspect of photography that quickly became evident is that it taught me to be keenly present. Being depressed and present aren’t your typical bedfellows but photography taught me to be aware of where I was, what I was looking at and how long I had before the light changed. This is a tool I still try to use on a daily basis even when my camera isn’t present.