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I had a black dog, his name was depression

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

I Had a Black Dog: His Name Was Depression - Matthew Johnstone

This video is an informative depiction of the reality of living with depression. If you don’t have the time to watch, here are some helpful tips from the video:

What are the signs & symptoms of depression?

· Activities that would usually bring pleasure, suddenly cease to

· Inability to concentrate and loss of memory

· Lower self-esteem and confidence in social gatherings

· Constantly saying and thinking negative things

· Fatigue, lack of energy and strength

· Withdrawal and isolation from others

· Anger and irritability

· Lack of motivation

Getting rid of the Shame & Stigma around depression:

It’s very common to experience feelings of shame around one’s experience of depression. “Why do I feel this way?” “Why can’t I feel better like those I see around me?” Sometimes people feel the need to hide the reality they are living with and worry that others may find out.

Carrying an emotional lie is exhausting. Covering it up, suppressing emotions, or acting like it’s all okay only increases the sense of internal shame and judgement towards yourself, and it can make things worse.

This burden is not light, but you do not have to carry this weight alone. Find someone you feel safe with and try speaking up. There is help available to anyone who seeks it. The first step is always the hardest, that’s why it’s the first!

What does the road to recovery for depression look like?

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression and seeking help is the first and most important step towards recovery. It takes great courage to reach out for help, but it is always worth it!

Being emotionally genuine and vulnerable towards those who are close to you can truly change the course of your journey with depression. Try keeping a feelings journal; putting your thoughts and feelings on paper can be cathartic and often insightful. Exercise, sleep, and keep track of the things you are grateful for. No matter how bad it gets, if you take the right steps, talk to the right people, the black dog days can and will pass.


In collaboration with WHO to mark World Mental Health Day in 2012, writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the "black dog of depression". More information on the book can be found here:

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