I had a black dog, his name was depression

I had a black dog. His name was depression Whenever the black dog made an appearance, I felt empty and life seemed to slow down. He could surprise me with a visit for no reason or occasion. The black dog made me look and feel older than my years. When the rest of the world seemed to be enjoying life, I could only see it through the black dog Activities that usually brought me pleasure, suddenly ceased to. He liked to ruin my appetite. He chewed up my memory and ability to concentrate. Doing anything or going anywhere with the black dog required super human strength. At social situations, he would sniff out what confidence I had and chase it away. My biggest fear was being found out. I worried that people would judge me. Because of the shame and stigma of the black dog I was constantly worried that I would be found out. So I invested vast amounts of energy into covering him up. Keeping up an emotional lie is exhausting Black dog could make me think and say negative things. He could make me irritable and difficult to be around. He would take my love and bury my intimacy. He loved nothing more than to wake me up with highly repetitive and negative thinking. He also liked to remind me how exhausted I was going to be the next day. Having a black dog in your life isn’t so much about feeling a bit down, sad or blue… at its worst it’s about being devoid of feeling altogether. As I got older the black dog got bigger and he started hanging around all the time. I’d chase him off with whatever I thought might send him running. But more often than not he’d come out on top going down became easier than getting up again. So I became rather good at self medication… which never really helped. Eventually I felt totally isolated from everything and everyone. The black dog had finally succeeded in hijacking my life. When you lose all joy in life you can begin to question what the point of it is. Thankfully this was the time that I sought professional help. This was my first step towards recovery and a major turning point in my life I learnt that it doesn’t matter who you are the black dog affects millions and millions of people; it is an equal opportunity mongrel. I also learnt that there was no silver bullet or magic pill. Medication can help some and others might need a different approach altogether. I also learnt that being emotionally genuine and authentic to those who are close to you, can be an absolute game changer. Most importantly I learnt not to be afraid of the black dog and I taught him a few new tricks of my own. The more tired and stressed you are the louder he barks, so it’s important to learn how to quiet your mind. It’s been clinically proven that regular exercise can be as effective for treating mild to moderate depression as antidepressants. So go for a walk or a run and leave the mutt behind. Keep a mood journal; getting your thoughts on paper can be cathartic and often insightful Also keep track of the things that you have to be grateful for. The most important thing to remember is that no matter how bad it gets… if you take the right steps, talk to the right people, black dog days can and will pass. I wouldn’t say that I’m grateful for the black dog but he has been an incredible teacher. He forced me to re-evaluate and simplify my life. I learnt that rather than running away from my problems it’s better to embrace them. The black dog may always be part of my life but he will never be the beast that he was. We have an understanding. I’ve learnt through knowledge, patience, discipline and humour the worst black dog can be made to heel. If you are in difficulty, never be afraid to ask for help. There is absolutely no shame in doing so the only shame is missing out on life.


  1. I have a black dog also. It's makes me sad when people are saying they are depressed when they only having a bad day

  2. Message to anyone in the midst of this. It DOES get better. I promise you. Just try and keep going and one day you will realise you feel better

  3. bello, bello, bello…realmente muy cierto lo que describe !!!! La enfermedad te enseña muchas cosas, te hace mas fuerte y sensible a la vez….

  4. I’m at a point in my life where I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m nearly at my wits end. The black dog is ruining my life.

  5. Been with my black dog for 5 years now, back and forth, I always come back to this video. Sometimes I want to leave him behind, but now I learned to live with him and pay attention to him once or twice a week now.

  6. I now have no one I'm close to. I lost both of my parents and my friends are sick of my sadness. What can I do now? Can anyone tell me how to act happy cuz they constantly ask me to change my attitude but it seemed impossible to me and they never understand!!

  7. This is such a great explanation. We have many black dogs in our family – I think (for us) they're handed down from generation to generation. The only thing that hasn't been handed down is the instruction manual on how to manage them. But that cycle stops with me and my black dog who is now, thankfully, mostly house trained and on a leash.

  8. Watched this years ago when my depression first began. Turns out my black dog was bipolar disorder, among other things. It wasn't easy to tame, and we're still trying to work things out, but now I believe what I heard in this video that I never thought I would:
    Any black dog can be taught to heal.

  9. Thank you so much on behalf all of us who have or had a black dog. So accurate, touchy and at the same time hopeful. Brought tears in my eyes.

  10. I have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is not the same as depression, but I recognize this, as they often go hand in hand. The depressive part has been helped with SSRI. That little dog was so cute by the way.

  11. I find it hard to akin depression to a dog when they are such wonderful animals who can help immensely people with depression

  12. I find this video sums up this awful disease in a nutshell. When people ask what depression is like I send them this link. Having suffered from it from a very early age, 7, I can say life has always been a battle. 42 years of this condition certainly takes its tool, I understand its to do with chemical imbalances in the brain, thats what keeps me going. Meds do help but you have to keep experimenting with different cocktails until you and your medical team get it right.

  13. my teachers advised me to watch this even tho i have anxiety not depression . its the same .im battling against a "black dog" every day and i will beat it one day 💕

  14. This is such an incredibly powerful tool to help explain how people feel when suffering with depression/anxiety etc. It perfectly puts into words and pictures how I feel and why I do the things I do.

  15. 😢I cry when see this video.. Still can't find a way to get myself better… Am I really sick? I used to help people and listen to their worries.. But no one helps mine..

  16. I used to think that sleep was my safe haven from depression, I was wrong. When i do get sleep, I end up waking up in the middle of the night, woken by a nightmare. I've been dreaming this dark, colourless forest, where there were bodies hanging from every tree. In the distance was a demon, and all around i could hear whispers. They constantly reminded me of the embarrassment and failure that I was even told me repeatedly to kill myself.

    I hate it, especially since most people think my depression has passed

  17. Good video – maybe an insightful representation of depression. I just wished a dog was not used. I just cannot associate a dog with depression. Through the video even though I heard and understood what was being conveyed, I could not help but feel 'such a cute dog'.

  18. I’ve had several depressive episodes and I’m currently going through one. But this is the first time I’ve struggled with being devoid of feelings altogether – and I honestly think that’s the worst part. Feels like that numbness is never gonna go away

  19. The thing is : i had a black dog. She died last year. I loved her so much. How dare you compare this super effective anti depressant to depression?

  20. As a depressed autist, I dont get this. Why do you hate dogs? Dogs are comfort. Edit; saw it all, still don't get it. Seems like a very "artsy" way of making the message be more complicated than it needs to be.

  21. Why does it have to be a black dog? Black seems to have a negative connotation in everything. It could have been a cloud hanging over you.

  22. This video is very powerful in getting across how it feels to have depression. Would the owners of the video have any objections if I used to it to show my students??

  23. I’m sure many people have commented on the dog as depression but here’s another one. Depression is not an animal my pets help me in my depression, who ever thought of using a dog was an idiot, sorry I know I shouldn’t be so judgemental. why not use a dementor from Harry Potter, when I first read the books I knew right away the dementors were here version of depression, they suck out all the happiness. But choosing an animal loud stupid, sorry I’m ranting here but you get my message.

  24. I once have a black dog and it was really bad. But I started to pray to God and I embraced my depression. I told my black dog, I know what you feel and I know this feelings are real. But everything inside my mind, all those negative thoughts are just made up in my mind. I started to see black dog as my broken child form and I give it love. I love myself, I love everyone, I love my black dog. When you started to see accept your black dog, you won't be afraid of it anymore 😄

  25. Do folks think this video might be helpful for a younger audience, like high schoolers? On one hand, I really like the points that are touched upon in this video. And the types of animations used make this video somewhat timeless (it's 6 years old and I can't even tell!) On the otherhand, there are parts of the video that seem more useful for mature audiences, which is a bit of a bummer.

  26. Wow this is bang on. They know how I am now. Its like drug addition you are never really cured its a fight every day. I keep fighting for my kids and wife.Sometimes it feels like I only stay alive to stop their pain even though Im in agony just living. Keep fighting the black dog …Or he will chew you up.

  27. The reason why the used a dog is blatantly obvious.
    They smell, eat there own and every other bit of shit they can find, make loud noises, bark for no reason, are extremely heavy, destroy everything you love, they can't be left unattended, are expensive to buy and fix, everywhere you go the dog will randomly shit and you've got to pick it up, they trespass and got you into trouble, if you go on holiday they normally come with you, need I go on?

    Where as cats are the complete opposite and then some. Where as looking at cat's, being with cat's and everything they do is calm and collective. Even though I've had anxiety & depression for as long as I can remember.

  28. I have learnt that the black dog never truly leaves you… You just learn to live with him.
    Some days he seems larger than life and takes over me and my world.. Other days,I forget he is even there.
    He can be a strange source of comfort & it's easy to give in,spending a majority of your days or weeks embracing him & convincing yourself that he is never going to leave. During those times, I become blind to everything & everyone around me – happiness seems a distant memory and such an unachievable goal.
    Regardless of this,I am almost glad that I met him. He reminds me that even in my darkest times, I have the strength & courage to get through.. ❤

  29. This is one of the most amazing videos ever. The analogy is spot on and gives non-sufferers an insight into how people can feel. WAHBx

  30. I hate when people simply say "I'm depressed" or "I have depression". I was diagnosed as depression and I live with a black dog in my heart, head, and body. I know how hard living with it. I act normal at work, I laugh, I smile because I want to hide my condition from my coworkers. It's very tiredness. I always have negative thoughts in my mind. I lost interests on anything. I see a psychologist every Saturday, it's $20 per week. It's $80 per month. I'm not sure if this is helping me. I don't know why I'm living in this world with having all these negative thoughts, no life goal, why am I living in this world if I'm not happy. There's noting can make me happy ever again. So please don't say if you are depressed or have depression without seeing a doctor or truly diagnosed it. Sorry for my unprofessional English grammar

  31. The term "black dog" is not suitable to be used; a black person like me is not comfortable with such a name. How about you call it "the white dog" instead since it is mainly associated with whites, or because it is overwhelming like white/ bright light. After all, black/ darkness helps one rest and calm down.
    Better still, don't associate black or dog to it. Call it depression!

  32. I recently came across this video, and I think it's such a disappointment that the WHO would put this video and the term it carries up for viewing, even with the numerous complaints about the term! I'm disappointed. I expected better from the WHO.

  33. This always confuses me. Why do they use a dog to represent depression? Dogs are wonderful and pure joy in life. They only know love for their families and can be the best friend one will ever have!
    Depression is a black parasite in your head that burrows deeper and deeper into your mind eating memory and energy and emotion.

  34. With the help of Zen master, we will learn how to meditate and how to control our black dog (inner emotional feeling). Only with breath in and breath out therapy will ease the inner pain and find inner peace. Of course, there are more solutions and breath in method is one of the suggested method. such as excercise, community activity, kungfu with the breath in and breath out…

  35. I got this depression from trauma then anxiety after depression for 10 years now, I know I am strong but i don't know when will all these end. I am very very very tired, I have these suicidal thoughts. Please pray for me 🙂 :(((((

  36. Missing in the illustration video is that when black dog is uncured it gets bigger and you will have these suicidal thoughts

  37. Hi there everyone! I am a small YouTuber that focuses on mental health on my channel! If you are someone you know are struggling with any mental health issues I have some helpful videos on my channel that you can go check out! I also offer my subscribers the chance to dm me and talk to me for one on one advice if that would be something you think might help💓

  38. WoW! A mental health specialist gave me this link. It talks about me as a person. I'm 43, totally alone as I push everyone away. I can't work and some days I wonder why I go on. I am incredibly irritated about the most trivial things and find humans the most irritating. I am so sensitive and get hurt easily. I crave love and attention in my life but am so used to being on my own. I know things have to change. What a fantastic video.

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