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I had a black dog, his name was depression. Sunday December 15, 2013

A few members have written to us recently recommending a video published by The World Health Organization entitled I had a black dog, his name was depression. It's great.

You can view it by following this link:

The video doesn't need any introduction, it speaks for itself.

I hope you find it interesting.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Handsome Sun, Dec 15th 2013 @ 11:19am

Thanks for posting this. It is so familiar!

Something I take from it is not to be ashamed, but to be open. This is something I learned a few years ago, and has been a great help. There is no point adding shame to all the other problems.

I am pleased that the stigma has been reduced in recent times. The likes of Stephen Fry, Marcus Trescothick, and more recently Jonathan Trott opening up about these things has I believe been a big factor in this. I have great admiration for the bravery they have shown.

To be so honest in the glare of publicity has helped me be more honest in my own private life. If they can go on telly and talk about it, then I can tell my mates!

For anyone who still feels ashamed of their 'Black Dog', don't be. Embrace it as a part of who you are. I wouldn't quite say that a problem shared is a problem halved, but being honest about it has helped me to accept it.

I am now very open about my tribulations, and it is surprisingly disarming to people. It has also shown me that many more people than I thought have similar struggles.

I don't know where all this came from! But my point is we all need to speak up, not only for our own sakes, but for everyone's.

Anonymous Sun, Dec 15th 2013 @ 12:05pm

I think this will help people understand and explain what they really feel , as it is very difficult to understand what is happening to you. Good to see WHO involvement , it made me cry, its very sensitively and simply done but informative.

Daren Sun, Dec 15th 2013 @ 1:32pm

I recently had a conversation about dogs taking anti-anxiety medications. In particular, Xanax, which is often prescribed for anxiety that results from depression.

I suggested that taking a walk was as, if not more powerful, for a dog than continuing to be in a cage all day. As humans, we often fail to take into consideration what our pets truly need to be happy. Cesar Milan, a 'dog psychologist', typically deals with pedestrian cases of dog anxiety, misbehavior, aggressiveness,et al by first taking the animal on a long walk (45 minutes or so).

I'm not quite sure where this metaphor is going, but I'd simply suggest that the black dog that harasses us might just need to go for a walk. I know it's often not that simple, but I think this video does a fantastic job of suggesting that we can be the Alpha to our black dog...

Anonymous Sun, Dec 15th 2013 @ 1:46pm

Excellent. Made me think I struggle with some of the thoughts more often than I realized.

Jenny Kusta Sun, Dec 15th 2013 @ 2:40pm

This is great as a simple articulation of the daily struggles of having a black dog, very insightful and encouraging to think about getting control over it.

Darrell, San Diego, CA Sun, Dec 15th 2013 @ 4:26pm

Totally AWESOME! Great - insightful illustrations!

Anonymous Sun, Dec 15th 2013 @ 5:19pm

I remember seeing the book in the library, it was a great way of explaining to my 10 year old why mummy wasn't her usual self.

Anonymous Sun, Dec 15th 2013 @ 6:36pm

While the message in this video is informative, surely I'm not the only one who objects to the "black dog" correlation with depression? What did black dogs ever do to deserve that! Personally, that really turns me off. As a long time depression sufferer myself - not to mention, a black dog "parent"! - I've never liked the term "black dog" to describe depression. Sun, Dec 15th 2013 @ 8:13pm

Black dogs are teh last to be adopted from shelters - there is even a website in the USA titled Black Pearls to encourage people to adopt them. Bad form to use these creatures as the metaphor for depression!

Jenny Carter Sun, Dec 15th 2013 @ 9:12pm

When I first read the book the video comes from, I cried. Finally I felt understood.there's an awesome partner book called living with a black dog which is helpful for those close to a depressed person.

thewillowtwisted Sun, Dec 15th 2013 @ 10:46pm

The black dog metaphor has been around perhaps a hundred years or more, it encompasses the darkness we feel and also that I shaking loyalty, depression will follow you about like a loving pup and never let you out of its sight if it can help it. If people aren't adopting dogs because they are black, or because they think a real dog is the same as a metaphor.,. Well. It's silly. Language is a gift. It's hard enough to talk about mental health without telling people not to use a phrase they find helpful.

Anonymous Mon, Dec 16th 2013 @ 9:27am

Thank you Jenny. I'll try to find a copy.

Julia Mon, Dec 16th 2013 @ 8:01pm

Thanks for this Caroline. I just wish I could be honest with friends and family about my low moods and insomnia which dictates my mood. I do agree though with the clip when it said that the effort involved in keeping it from everyone is exhausting. I just do not want to be labelled as "depressed" by people who don't understand. They will be watching over me all the time to see if I am alright. Ghastly!

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