SALT LAKE CITY — Nationally recognized journalist Jane Clayson Johnson, who started her career at KSL TV and later became anchored the morning show on CBS, was back in Utah recently — this time to share her own story about her battle with depression.
In her new book titled "Silent Souls Weeping," Johnson sheds light on the loneliness of clinical depression.
“I had had some situational sadness in my life, but nothing that a good cry or two or three couldn’t overcome,” Johnson said.
After a successful network career and finding joy in motherhood, Johnson encountered something she never expected. She faced a few health challenges and soon began experiencing overwhelming feelings of despair.
“When I was in my depression, which came on quite suddenly and unexpectedly, I felt like I was in a burlap knapsack that was tied at the top, and I couldn’t get out,” Johnson explained.
After reaching an all-time low, Johnson and her husband reached out to a doctor, who put her on medication. This marked the beginning of her road to becoming healthy again.
Johnson said depression is something that needs to be treated. She said, “Clinical depression is an illness ... it can’t be willed away. If you just try harder, you can’t send it off.”
Johnson explains that depression is not something someone should blame themselves for.
“When you have diabetes, you take insulin; when you have a broken arm, you get a cast on; depression is the same thing,” she said.
Clinical depression is an illness ... it can't be willed away. If you just try harder, you can't send it off.
–Jayne Clayson Johnson, author
She said her book is directed toward people of faith.
“When you’re someone of faith, and you can’t feel the spirit, it’s very troubling. You take this on yourself,” Johnson said.
Johnson shares the stories of more than 150 members of her church who also suffered from depression, hoping to help others not feel alone, especially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She hopes the publication of her book will spark conversations among family, friends and community members.
“The more we talk about it, the more we remove the stigma associated with suicide, the more hope we will have of getting at the heart of what’s causing all this,” she said.
Johnson is now on a mission to share her story to help others also find hope through her book. In all her research, Johnson has found the best medicine on Earth is talk therapy.