The Black Dog of Depression
January and February can be difficult months for many of us. There is less sunshine and light and the world is often cold and grey. The build up to Christmas is over and it might well have been something of a let down anyway. “What is everyone going on about?” “Who says I have to be cheerful?” I don’t want to feel pushed into something that is commercial and out of my control” “I don’t want to spend time with my family and that is all everyone seems to be going on about”.
Depression can strike for all sorts of reasons, any of the above or many more. Depression is a really horrible experience and I recently found an animation on the WHO website which I found really interesting.
The overall message is talk about it, seek help and don’t just suffer it. For some people medication works well, and you may want to try this route first with your GP. For others medication and therapy are a better combination and for many, therapy can be the best solution. Therapy can help you to identify both the causes of depression and look at ways of dealing with it and most importantly how to ensure it doesn’t become the black dog sitting on your back but just a reasonable sized part of your life. As it says in the cartoon, depression is part of all of us, it won’t ever go away. But the important thing is that it can remain a manageable part of your life not an overwhelming cloud colouring everything and making it really hard to do the things you want, to maintain friendships and relationships or feel you are achieving something.