Owner of the black dog.

Hi Folks, I basically signed up here to let people know that there are people listening. I too own that black dog called depression. It has been with me all of my life and I didn't really know what the problem was until my thirties when I had a complete breakdown, at work. Tears, snot, panic and twitches. That was a low point but also a turning point as I finally sought help. Depression makes me self destructive, pushing people away and even actively hurting those I love most. I'm 47 now and have learnt to recognise when I'm heading into a funk and immediately seek help.

I just want to say, there is help, there is hope. There are people listening.

22 Replies

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  • Hello and welcome SomeMuthaFunky,

    You have a very friendly black dog - visits lots of people in lots of places.

    In fact Australia actually has a Black Dog Institute

    The BDI has a catchy logo and motto "putting health in mind".

    You can check it out on the link below and sign up for newsletters

    blackdoginstitute.org.au/ge...

  • The black dog is indeed a faithful companion, always there. Have faith though, it can be tamed and brought under control.

  • Magic stars, I agree, it never goes away but it can be managed. Ask your doctor about CBT. It's about retraining the way you think, trying to break the cycles of thought that we get trapped in.

  • Hi magicstars, have you thought of Mindfulness or having another refresher course of CBT. That black dog can be put on a leash and brought to heel. Best wishes to you.

  • Hi Magicstars,

    Yes he can cause mischief at times as I am experiencing today.

    I am just counting down the time till I go to my volunteering session this evening. That always cheers me up and gets me out of my head.

    Take care.

  • Hi SomeMuthaFunky,

    Welcome and thank you for your post. It is great to hear form those who are getting there.

    I here you about the breakdown, had my big one at home, but had a few issues at work which I hid from everyone by going to the toilet and crying or getting my shakes under control. I sometimes wonder if things would have been different if I'd had my melt down at work infront of everyone rather than giving up my job and then having my melt down at home where only my now ex-husband could witness it.

    Sorry I have just having a bad day today and struggling with the mess that is my divorce.

    It is great to hear that you are here to let people know there is hope and that you got through it.

  • Ah divorce. I have been there too. It's not fun. My life was a mess at one point. Even when you feel like you have come out the other side, there are still bad days, weeks, months even. The trick is learning to recognise the symptoms. For me I start getting wound up about the simplest of things, I build them up into something huge in my own head. When I start doing that I know it's time to medicate to get balanced again. It's a shame you felt the need to give up your job. As people prone to depression we tend to give up so much, jobs we like (which are rare), social engagements and even people that we love. We push everything and everyone away. Instead, find someone you can talk to, in all brutal honesty. Many people don't know how to respond when you say matter of factly, hey I have depression. The honesty of it scares them. I'm lucky to now be married to a remarkable woman that understands what is happening when I dip. The self destructive me that emerges. She is patient while I get help. I hope you start feeling better soon. Trust me, you will put the divorce behind you and move forward.

  • Thank you for your advise. I am just letting him mess with my head again. I am lucky I have good family and friends who help me. Been going through this divorce for over 2 years now and I just have off days.

    Still the good news is my off days are just me wanting to crawl up in a ball and eat chocolate where as they used to be me going crazy and sometimes hurting myself. So it's on the up.

    Don't think I will ever trust another man again thought. Been hurt too many times.

    At 48, struggling to get a job and the impending court case for my divorce and potential loss of my home I just feel lost and wonder what is left for me. I thought I had a great life, thought I had a husband who really cared and I couldn't want for more. We both had good jobs and a sport we both loved. We helped each other and I even trained as a massage therapist so that I could take care of him (That wasn't even my main job). Then it all went belly up and I missed all the signs.

    So anyway I am on a downer today, but hopefully tomorrow will be better.

    I am so glad you have a loving partner who understands and that you are doing so well.

    Take Care.

  • Thanks so much for the post. It's nice to know someone is listening. I suffer from depression also. My neurologist says that it is common for people with chronic physical illnesses to develop depression. I'm still dealing with grieving the loss of loved ones and it just turns my mild depression (treated successfully with meds) into some really low points every once in a while.

  • Hi Anella. Dealing with illness on its own is hard enough, particularly if it's chronic and long term, but life does love to add a little more sometimes. We are remarkable though, we can do so much. Have you considered speaking to a grief counsellor? Sometimes it helps to just get the words out instead of spinning them around in your head, amplifying them. I hope you start feeling better soon in every way.

  • I agree, speaking with a grief counsellor could help. I know my Uncle struggled with the lose of my Aunt and although he is doing better now I do suggest he go back to the grief counsellor when he seems to be getting low again.

    People had told him that after a year he should be over it, but i told him grief is personal and will take as long as it takes and it was okay for him to still miss my aunt and that it was okay for him to go back and see the counsellor again. He was glad of our talk and told me later that the counsellor had said he was right to go back and see her again.

    So don't be afraid or ashamed to go ask for help.

    Take care.

  • I totally agree about not being afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Like I mentioned above, I saw a psychiatrist some years ago. That's how I found out officially that I was suffering from depression. After that, I saw a therapist regularly. Unfortunately, "the black dog" rears it's ugly head, more than usual, when I lose someone I love. I read the brochure "When Someone You Love Dies" and it helped so much that I go back and read certain parts when I lose a loved one so I can successfully fight becoming completely overwhelmed with grief. It's been really helpful. As a side note, I really do despise when someone tells a person that after a certain period they should be over the death of someone. That's so wrong. A friend of mine once said that when we lose someone we love, it's like having a hole in our heart that cannot be filled with anything but that person. We gradually learn to live and endure with that hole at our own pace.

  • SomeMuthaFunky You are so right about dealing with chronic illness. I saw a psychiatrist some years ago. That's how I found out officially that I was suffering from depression. After that, I saw a therapist regularly. It really helped me to work out things about myself and helped me to learn how to be more reflective on my own, as well as, learning how to write my thoughts down. Thanks so much.

  • Grief never goes away. Not ever. Time just helps us to live with it. Stay strong Anella.

  • I also found out in the past couple of years that you can grieve for someone who is still living and that I was actually morning the loss of my marriage as well as dealing with my stress and anxiety.

    I still mourn the loss of what me and my ex had in our marriage, but I don't miss the person he became at the end of our marriage. I also mourn all the good things we could have gone on to do with our lives and the new experiences we have lost as well.

    Keep the good memories close to your heart and stay strong because you know your loved one would want to you to go on and experience the good things in life.

    Take care.

  • So good to hear you all caring and supporting each other especially when the black dog visits around those sad and difficult life events. Keep taking care.

  • Hello SomeMuthaFunky,

    It is incredibly uplifting to read that you can live with that 'black dog' depression. It can be so hard and it has certainly pushed me over the brink. You are so right, it is recognising the signs and acting on them so that you receive the help you need.

    I lost my partner almost 3 years ago and the pain never goes away. At times I do not know how I am still here, but I am. I love him and I miss him with all of my heart but he would want me to live my life. I am trying, I am trying but it is hard. Keep fighting people, keep fighting to enjoy life.....

    Lottie x

  • Hi Lottie

    That's heartbreaking to read. I'm 47 and already said goodbye to far more friends than I care to. Grief never goes away but time teaches us to live with it. It really does. I honour them with fond memories. I'll say to you what I have said to their husbands and wives in time, you are allowed to be happy again. You are allowed to love again and it can happen if you let it. X

  • I understand what you are saying and thank you.

    It is far too early for me to even contemplate another relationship and it makes me recoil and feel sick to even think about it.

    Lottie x

  • Maybe we should give this black dog the most awful name we can think of

  • Engelbert? ;0)

  • That sounds good to me!!!

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