Friday, 13 April 2012

Tame that 'Black Dog'. Depression bites!

The Black dog is snapping & snarling!

It's no secret that I have the odd lapse of feeling low and the past couple of weeks I have been completely absent from any kind of blogging.
I thought I had my Black Dog well and truly in his kennel or at least to heel but he's snarling and snapping again and so I've been trying to gain back some control.
That has meant though that nothing has interested me and I could not for the life of me find any interest in anything that I would normally love - gardening, photography even blogging and I guess that just completes the vicious cycle of depression (hate that term).
One day I'll venture outside and begin a project and then 10 minutes later I'll find myself thinking 'what's the point? Seriously what is the point?' and that usually results in me downing tools, heading indoors and pretty much feeling sorry for myself!
I see the pattern daily, I know it's there and I understand that to break it I have to force myself to do something - anything - but jeepers it's hard!
So what do I do? Well, music helps. I find if I'm listening to my MP3 then the snarling Black dog is easier to ignore and the more I am able to ignore it the tamer he becomes(the Black dog does not like music).
But what when I'm not listening to music? Well I've been trying to force myself to hit the treadmill (the black dog does not like exercise) to release those feel good endorphins.
Every other moment of the day is spent literally being aware of what makes that dog snap and have me ducking for cover and it's really difficult to emerge from that cover once the Black dog is standing over you all slathery and snarling.

So why bother writing this?
Well firstly because I have nothing else to say right now, secondly because there are so many sufferers out there and it's good not to feel like the only one and finally because it's supposed to be therapeutic - hmmm, I'll let you know about that one.

But why do I refer to depression as a 'Black Dog'?
Well many years ago I read a fabulous book titled 'Taming the black dog' by Patrick Elverton and it seriously helped me control the frequency and depth of those low points.
The term 'Black Dog' I believe was first used by Winston Churchill who despite being such a monumental leader of Great Britain suffered from severe depression.

This has been my first bad bout for around a year (at least) and I hate looking outside at this wonderful view of the fields and the sea and thinking 'whatever'. I used to just sit and stare at this gorgeous view for ages but not at the moment. I have the odd positive thought but it's soon snapped away and replaced with 'Blah!'.
BUT I'm getting there. I still feel deep down that nothing I do is worth the effort or the bother or good enough but I am getting back to being able to stop those negative thoughts before they feed the Black Dog. It's not easy but I'm relearning to train my mind to not listen to those negative thoughts, stop them early and replace them with positive thoughts.

Guess there's hope for me yet!


KateF said...

Hi Linda,
I've just recently signed up for your feeds - your posts about your gardening are my favorites. I do hope the snapping & snarling has quieted immensely since your post on the 13th. I just want you to know your effort (blogging) to share your talents are appreciated - I know they make my life just that much more interesting and creative.

Heather said...

Re: depression. You may want to check into the effects of vitamin D on depression. There is a lot of new research out there, and you live in an area where practically everyone is probably deficient by what the researchers are thinking proper standards really should be. You're just too far north of the equator to get enough of the right quality of sunlight