Episode 094: Jane Clayson Johnson on Depression: A Candid Conversation About Our Experiences with Mental Illness

Jane Clayson Johnson is an award-winning journalist widely known for her work at CBS News, ABC News, and on the nationally syndicated NPR program, On Point. For more than two decades, she traveled the world, covering domestic and international stories and interviewing the biggest newsmakers of the day. At CBS News, Jane was co-anchor of The Early Show, a regular correspondent for 48 Hours, and an investigative reporter for “Eye on America” segments for the CBS Evening News.

In 2018, Jane published her book Silent Souls Weeping, sharing an open and frank exploration of her own experience with clinical depression. She goes on to share stories gathered from interviews with more than 150 men, women, and teens who have suffered from depression.

Today, Jane and I have a very candid, open conversation about both of our experiences with depression, what she's learned from interviewing others, and her advice to those suffering from this same trial in life, or to those with loved ones who suffer from mental illness.

If you are struggling with mental health issues yourself. You're not alone. There are other people out there who have walked your path, and who have walked it successfully. It's not without pain, and it's not without heartache. But there is HOPE and there is HELP.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Jane's unforgettable assignments as a journalist
  • Falling into clinical depression
  • What drove Jane to write a book – to break the stigma of mental illness
  • Why are we so ashamed to talk about depression?
  • Everybody has a story. Someone is suffering in your world, the more compassion you have, the more you understand there are ways to help.
  • Why we need to be mental health-friendly
  • The two themes that always came up in her interviews: stigma and what depression does to the spiritual self
  • They say, pray harder that depression and mental illness will go away. Would you sit in a corner and pray your heart disease will go away?
  • Depression is a disease, it's not a spiritual deficit.
  • Brain health as a critically important component of real, full, and complete health
  • Stigma and how perfectionism affects that
  • You can’t fix this with work and discipline, you need treatment.
  • How to find a good therapist
  • Dealing with a child who is suffering from depression and anxiety
  • Our unique responsibility and opportunity to reach out and help others


Supporting Resources:

Silent Souls Weeping: Depression-Sharing Stories, Finding Hope by Jane Clayson Johnson
Jane’s website

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Episode Credits
Produced by Emerald City Productions

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