The Black Dog
A term first used by Winston Churchill, to describe the relentless black shadow that continues to follow you called depression.
It doesn’t matter who you are or how old you are, whether you are wealthy or poor. The black dog when he gets your sent will hunt you down. He is relentless, and nothing deters his tenacity
You may be able to throw him off your trail for a short while but he will always catch you up, usually in your weakest moments, when you are at your most vulnerable.
You will try and pretend he is not there, with smiles, a joke or keeping yourself occupied with some menial task, but the black dog is there nipping at your ankles.
Like a wild beast he knows that if he stays the task, eventually you will tire, and at you weakest point he attacks with the ferocity of a starving lion.
Depression can happen to anyone. One in 20 Australians are affected by depression each year. Understanding the signs and symptoms of depression, how they appear in different people, and where to go to get help is important.
Depression is a common medical condition. It can cause a low mood that doesn't go away and makes us feel very sad or withdrawn. It interferes with the way we go about our everyday lives and can make it hard to cope.
Some people describe it as being in a really dark place that's difficult to come back from. Others describe it as a numb feeling.
In Australia, the five main types of depression include:
major depressive disorder
major depressive disorder (with melancholia)
persistent depressive disorder (or dysthymic disorder)
perinatal depression (also called antenatal and postnatal depression).
There is a range of contributing factors for developing depression. These factors can be biological – brain chemistry, genes and personality traits. Or they can be life events – such as trauma and long term stress; or a combination of these factors.
It's important to get help to manage depression. There are lots of ways to treat it, and you can feel better.
Important things to know about getting treatment for depression:
Different types of depression respond to different kinds of treatments. You need a thorough check from a health professional before treatment is prescribed.
Depression can sometimes go away by itself. But left untreated, it may last for many months or get significantly worse. Always seek help early, so you can recover sooner.
Depending on the nature of your depression, self-help and alternative therapies can be helpful. They can be used alone or combined with physical and psychological treatments.
Most people who have had depression have been able to seek help and live active, fulfilling lives.
There are three broad categories of treatment for depression:
self-help and alternative therapies.
Often, a combination of treatments works best. Different types of depression require different treatments. As we are all individuals with different contributing factors, we all respond differently to treatment.
Remember with help, you can recover from depression.