When I heard the expression “Black Dog “I thought it was perfect. I had been suffering, and still do, from clinical depression for quite a few years and it had affected me in many ways. I do consider myself as a level headed sensible person and have been through several things during my many years on this planet.
A great man called Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain during WW2, suffered badly from Bi Polar depression, and still managed to lead the country through difficult times. He called his depression his “Black Dog” that was where the expression came from.
So when I got into a depressive state, I said to myself all the normal things, like “Get yourself together” “ Stop being stupid” and several others, but nothing seemed to work.
I had been through two divorces, lots of nasty things in the forces and yet this “Feeling” would not go away. What’s wrong with me????
I eventually went to see a doctor and after a while I was told I was suffering from a thing called “Clinical depression”. I was told that it’s a physical illness, which affects you mentally. There was a chemical imbalance in my brain which make you more likely to be depressed.\
So I was given Prozac which is that wonder drug , or happy pills I had heard of. It did make a difference and it did help.
What was annoying was when people heard you were depressed they would come out and say “ Slap out of it “ get a grip of yourself” “It’s just depression, get out of it”
This only makes you feel worse as it isolates you, and even though these people are trying to help, they are making it worse. At times I wished I had a huge plaster cast on my leg, then people could see I was ill, but as my illness is in my brain, and I looked ok, people thought I was ok. If I did break a leg, I would never hear someone say “Get a grip, run it out, it’s just in your mind”
So my personal Black Dog makes a visit now and then, fortunately over the years and with help, I cope. I have not been as bad as I have been many years ago, but every now and them with no warning, I feel the presence of my Black Dog, not close enough to affect me badly, but he is outside the door, reminding me he has not gone.
When I feel that way, my family and close friends know, I tell them my black dog is here and they leave me to deal with it, I know they are there if I need them but it’s a private battle, between me and that oh so familiar Black Dog.
If I am feeling quite bad, I put a picture of a Black Dog on my Facebook Profile and those who know, leave me alone and all I need is a word or two saying they are there.
There is a wonderful statue of Winston Churchill in London with him in a straight jacket, unveiled in 2006 with a lot of controversy and was put up by a mental health charity.
There is also a Pol Roger Champagne which Winston Churchill was very fond of and drunk a lot of, so much so they names a champagne after him called Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill. I have tried it, it’s lovely.