Big Black Dog

Millions of people today are living with depression. One of the biggest struggles people with depression face is the fact that their depression is “invisible.” It can be difficult for people living with depression to communicate what their depression is like for them to their support systems, which can lead to feelings of isolation. The World Health Organization created a video titled, “I had a black dog, his name was depression” to help make the conversation about depression easier.

Big Black Dog and Depression

What’s so great about this video is how it gives depression a physical entity, the black dog (a phrase popularized by Winston Churchill), and shows how the black dog can affect you in ways you might not have ever associated with depression, like losing your temper or feeling uncomfortable in social situations. Also, the black dog provides a visual aid to help explain depression to people in our lives who have never experienced something like this; it helps to paint a clear picture so our support systems can understand and better prevent those feelings of isolation that depression can cause. For those of you struggling with your own black dog, remember that there are ways to make that black dog a much smaller entity in your life. There is no reason that it needs to remain one of the main features of your day-to-day. Oftentimes seeing a video like this and starting your own discussion about your black dog with your supports or a trained professional is the first step in helping to diminish its presence in your life.

By: Dr. Pam Wright, Founder and Clinical Director, The Life Change Group