My Black Dog & Me

I write this blog in all honesty & commitment to help my black dog. And especially because I know many out there have this condition and either they don’t know what to do about it or know what to do but are better off denying it. And yes, also  because this is a ‘coming out’ experience for me. And I want to get it out of my system.

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Here are two videos by World Health Organization explaining depression

I Had a Black Dog, His Name was Depression – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc

Living with a Black Dog – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VRRx7Mtep8

And here’s a video by one of my favourite bloggers, Allie Brosh.

Depression – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GthbzXBDv2Q

You can check out Allie’s blog, Hyperbole & a Half – http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.in/ (The illustrations/ comics in this blog are done by her.)

How common is depression?

Depression affects 1 in every 5 people. If depression runs in the family, the members are 8 times more prone to depression.

Is depression a weakness?

Depression is often perceived as a lack of courage. Like any other ‘normal’ person, depressed people may be courageous in certain areas of life while may not be in other areas. The nature of depression is such that courage is not enough to push it away. As a matter of fact, you cannot push it away however hard you try. Depression is almost like a dark cloud lurking beneath you. It never leaves you, even in your happiest moment.

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What exactly happened for you to feel depressed?

Nothing has to necessarily happen to trigger depression. With a few it might be a temporary phase but with others its a life long baggage.

Depression doesn’t exist, its all in your head.

Oh, well! This is almost like saying alternative sexualities don’t exist. Depression is not in the head, its a concrete feeling that manifests itself physically, socially, emotionally.

hyperbole-depression

Therapy is a crutch, how long can you go about seeking help?

I think otherwise. I firmly believe therapy helps. Therapy is not a crutch, therapy is a supplement you take when you feel deficient. There is no shame in seeking help. Talking has more healing power than we can perceive. And talking to a professional more so. Therapy makes you talk, feel emotionally naked, deal with how you are, how you perceive life, face your evils, your strengths, makes you know yourself. I haven’t yet figured out the nature of knowing & realization, but I can say for sure it makes you a more conscientious, mature & wiser person.

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Does therapy really help? They will put you on medication, don’t you fear that?

No, I don’t fear that. I would rather study the nature of my illness & discuss the medication with my therapist. If I feel uncomfortable being on medication, the first person to know this should be my therapist. Knowing the nature of your disease is half the battle won.

Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Ayurved help. Safest way to cure depression.

Depression cannot be cured with placebos. It will make a come back. The more you delay the process of seeking help, the harder it gets.

allie-brosh-hyperbole-and-a-half-panels-copyright-2013

Get involved in good work, that is the best cure.

Directing your energy towards altruistic work might help in reducing the pain you feel but it will never address the root of your disease. By helping others, you are only temporarily suppressing your feelings. Seeking help & working towards accepting your condition is the only right way to go about it. All other distractions run parallel to this process.

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Is depression a disease?

Depression is a biopsychosocial syndrome. The reasons can be genetic, biological, psychological and/ or social. Depression can be compared with alcoholism. The debate on whether alcoholism/ depression is a disease or disorder still remains. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evil-deeds/200809/is-depression-disease

Will therapy cure it?

The nature of the human mind & its disorders/ diseases is very complex. Research hasn’t gotten that far yet. No psychiatrist can guarantee any outcome. But he/ she can certainly help you in finding ways to deal with your disorder & make your life livable, if not happy. A combination of psychotherapy & pharmacology can go a long way in treating depression.

Lets not talk about it. Avoiding the topic cures it. The more you think, the more it will affect you.

Sweeping things under the carpet don’t make them go away. The more you hide, the bigger the black dog gets, till you can handle him no more.

Depression is almost like coming out.

Yes, it is. Acceptance is the first & most important step in getting to know your black dog.

Does your family support you?

I say this with a heavy heart and with all my honesty, no, my family doesn’t support me. Y has always been there for me, no one else has. Either they don’t understand & acknowledge the nature of depression and if they do they are better off denying it. Your struggle becomes harder after knowing your family doesn’t support you.

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Do you lose credibility because of the stigma attached to it?

Yes, I often do. When I stand up for something, I see the doubt in people’s eyes. But I say what I have to say and let people judge.

Am I talking or is the depression talking?

Yes, I very often feel this. And I have to remind myself that I have to trust my intellect & instinct. My black dog is a part of me, we are inseparable. I will always have that doubt. The way I deal with this is by asking myself a lot of questions till I am convinced of the answer.

I won seek help, I haven’t gone crazy yet.

Yes, I have been through that phase. And it hasn’t helped. My issues only got worse with time. One should know when to let go off one’s ego.

What other issues do you face?

Anger, anxiety, awkwardness, confidence issues, asocial behaviour. I dont receive phone calls & have lost the already few friends I have. favim_com-aspergers-girl-gpoy-hyperbole-and-a-half-socialphobia-agoraphobia-204275

How do you feel about being accepted?

I am slowly learning to be comfortable being alone and not being accepted. I am also learning to stand up for what I strongly feel about and be the bad person. Acceptance can be lucrative and these days its not worth the effort. You can either be honest or be accepted. Rare are the situations, where these coincide.

What is people’s reaction?

Most don’t understand, fewer make an attempt. Most feel angry, fewer try to get to know me. 1327549097126322


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15 Comments

  1. Nice post! Having going through depression myself, I can totally feel d pain of being in the pit. But understanding my condition more has given me the tool to work alongside it, rather than to fight it. I realise that happiness is not a rosy dreamy land, but it comes when you are true to urself. It has definitely made me a stronger person

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rutu, if I have to tell you my own example,I have slipped away in self doubts, overthinking mechanisms ( overanalysis) and even confidence issues in the past.I still suffer from bouts of the same, but now I can handle them better. Atleast so I believe. I do not know whether the above fall under the symptoms of depression.But, I do feel that some self defeating stuff inside me has prevented me from reaching my full potential.

    All I have learnt from life,if I may say so, is that we are all works in progress. And where courage and self confidence are concerned they are built over time.

    Sometimes situations around us can trigger depression when one feels helpless.

    If not entirely, yet there is no denying that your childhood has been subject to a lot of unfortunate situations.I do believe that childhood impressions are far too deep than one can foresee.

    You are my family.And I am so sorry if I havent been a part of your struggle in the past.Please forgive me my dear.

    Please know that in the future, I am there for you and to do whatever it takes to get you back to your ‘self’ .

    Love always

    Grace

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Evolution is the design of the Universe. The Universe is modular. That is, it is a composite of smaller units that each individually reflect this design perfectly. We, human beings, are among the various modules of the Universe. So, naturally, we perfectly reflect the larger design. Evolution is our design, too.

    Everything that happens in our life works according to our basic design. That is, everything that happens in our life is designed to help us evolve.
    But this works in complementary opposites, the duality of complementary opposites being the nature of everything. As in music, dissonance helps create awareness about consonance. DISSONANCE MAKES CONSONANCE MEANINGFUL. So, in order to help you evolve, your life will first teach you to value and understand the nature of evolution. Depression is there to help you, to teach you what it means to evolve. The nature and purpose of evolution is perfect self-awareness.

    Reality is wondrously, beautifully complex. And complexity being a pattern of simple threads, any aspect of our life is essentially an expression of an underlying fundamental simplicity.

    Depression is loss of freedom. Depression is being limited by something you don’t understand and don’t know how to be free of. Loss of freedom comes from lack of awareness; awareness is freedom. Lack of awareness is ignorance and ignorance comes from ignoring. Find out everything there is to know about yourself and everything you need to know about the Universe and the natural consequence of perfect awareness is perfect freedom. Such is the nature of things. Such is the nature of our mind.

    Not knowing what things mean to you leads to being limited. To be limited is to be BOUND by one’s limited awareness. Lack of awareness is the only thing that can limit our mind, tie us up in knots inside. Our mind is a maze of complexity. But, again, complexity is essentially a pattern of simple threads. One of the extremely important, fundamental functions of Intelligence is identification. IDENTIFY the simple threads that make up the complex maze of your mind, and there will be no more reason to be depressed.

    Know who you truly are inside, who the Universe truly is, and you shall know freedom.

    – P

    P.S: Stumbled upon your blog quite accidentally and could not leave without sharing something. Sorry, and hope this helps.

    Like

  4. The so-called physical body is a mechanism that receives and amplifies the signals from the invisible energy fields that dwell in and around it. These energy fields are the different levels of consciousness on which we live and function.

    The next step is to know yourself.
    How does one know oneself? What an intriguing, absurd question! And what is there to know? We already are who we are already. What is this strange talk about knowing oneself, anyway? What is there to know except that I am me? Know oneself? Go stand before a mirror and there you are. Simple!

    Ah! This is the point where we stand on the verge of discovery. What we see in the mirror is a symbol, like when we read. When we ‘read’ we SEE a symbol and PERCEIVE what it stands for, what it implies or evokes. What the symbol evokes is the essence of that symbol, which is the very reason and purpose of the existence of the symbol.
    What do we do next upon perceiving the meaning evoked by the symbol? We leave the symbol behind without a single further thought to it! . . . .

    The symbol has served it’s purpose. We need not linger there any more than necessary. If we do unnecessarily linger, we cannot continue with our reading and the text is lost to us. So, it is important to MOVE ON . . . .
    In other words, we are free to move on IF AND WHEN the meaning of a symbol is perceived, it’s essence captured and absorbed. To our mind, EVERYTHING IN THIS UNIVERSE – things, people, events, relationships, ideas, creatures, arts and sciences, qualities etc. – IS A SYMBOL, whether we like it or not.
    Wow! What an analogy we are building here! Let us step back for a moment and examine carefully what our stunning analogy wants to tell us.
    It is telling us two things, for certain. Firstly, that in this world, meaning or essence is always hidden. It has to be recognized, IDENTIFIED. When we look at a person – it could be ourselves in a mirror – we do not see who they essentially are, as easily as we see their symbols, that is, their bodies. The essence of a person must be recognized, identified. That is naturally true for each one of us, including oneself.
    Secondly, what our stunning analogy wants to tell us is that we are free to move on from a symbol if and when we recognize, identify it’s essence. If we fail to do that, we cannot be free, as the text is lost to us. That is loss of freedom. Depression is one expression of freedom lost.

    Now to address the statement made at the beginning, that the physical body is a mechanism that amplifies signals received from subtler energy fields that dwell in and around it.

    The brain is not the source of thought just as the body isn’t the source of our personality. The brain receives and amplifies an impulse that comes from a different source beyond the brain. This amplified impulse is what we know as conscious thought. The subtler impulse comes from the subtler levels of consciousness that form our ‘psyche’.

    Hey, so there is more to us than is apparent. So, WE MAY BE WRONG to suppose that we are aware of all there is to know about us.

    So, now comes the next logical question: How?
    How does one know what one needs to know about oneself?

    The nature of things is such that KNOWING ONESELF IS THE SAME, IN PRACTICE, AS BEING ONESELF.

    – P

    Like

  5. IDENTIFICATION

    To identify is to establish identity. Identity is the state of being who or what someone or something is. (Sound familiar?)

    One of the most important, fundamental functions of Intelligence is identification. Intelligence performs this function inexorably, incessantly and on all levels of consciousness, whether we are aware of it or not. It is part of the basic design of our psyche. It plays an all important role in our psychology.

    If one wants proof of this one needs to ask oneself a few simple questions about oneself. Or maybe just one: Do I have likes and dislikes?
    The same question modified takes forms like:
    Do I have preferences?, Do I select and reject?, Do I favor certain alternatives and disfavor others?, Do I approve of some things and disapprove of others?

    The simple answer to all these is ‘All the time.’

    Every single time we like or dislike something or someone, every single instance of favoring or selection or preference or approval is an example of self-identification. A person who is disdainful of choosing their life, disdainful about exercising their choice, is without doubt a bored AND HENCE unhappy, undernourished, underdeveloped psyche. Such a person is way low on the scale of self-awareness.
    Any act of choice is self-identification. In simple words, when we do something we really truly want to do, we are in a state of self-awareness, in howsoever small a degree. And the more we do what we truly want to do the more self-aware we grow. THIS APPLIES TO EVERY SINGLE MOMENT OF OUR EXISTENCE AND EACH AND EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF US AND OUR LIFE.

    What!? That sounds too simple! Could something so simple ever be true?

    ‘A little theory, and a lot of practice. A little theory, AND A LOT OF PRACTICE.’

    – P

    Like

  6. IDENTIFICATION

    To identify is to establish identity. Identity is the state of being who or what someone or something is. (Sound familiar?)

    One of the most important, fundamental functions of Intelligence is identification. Intelligence performs this function inexorably, incessantly and on all levels of consciousness, whether we are aware of it or not. It is part of the basic design of our psyche. It plays an all important role in our psychology.

    If one wants proof of this one needs to ask oneself a few simple questions about oneself. Or maybe just one: Do I have likes and dislikes?
    The same question modified takes forms like:
    Do I have preferences?, Do I select and reject?, Do I favor certain alternatives and disfavor others?, Do I approve of some things and disapprove of others?

    The simple answer to all these is ‘All the time.’

    Every single time we like or dislike something or someone, every single instance of favoring or selection or preference or approval is an example of self-identification. A person who is disdainful of choosing their life, disdainful about exercising their choice, is without doubt a bored AND HENCE unhappy, undernourished, underdeveloped psyche. Such a person is way low on the scale of self-awareness.
    Any act of choice is self-identification. In simple words, when we do something we really truly want to do, we are in a state of self-awareness, in howsoever small a degree. And the more we do what we truly want to do the more self-aware we grow. THIS APPLIES TO EVERY SINGLE MOMENT OF OUR EXISTENCE AND EACH AND EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF US AND OUR LIFE.

    What!? That sounds too simple! Could something so simple ever be true?

    ‘A little theory, and a lot of practice. A little theory, AND A LOT OF PRACTICE.’

    – P

    Like

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