Can you Tame the Black Dog


I first heard the reference to the black dog of depression a long time ago. At the time I understood the reference completely, it was a primeval entity that was on the prowl and the sense of foreboding that comes  with it pretty much covers what it’s like. So much more than just a clever description.

Whether you’re depressed or not you might find this interesting in an interesting thinking sort of way.

I heard Dr Pamela Stevenson talking to Stephen Fry on the radio and she said something really interesting. She described the fact that as humans we regard ourselves as being clever and when we’re caught in a rut we believe that we can find our own way out. But because we’re stuck inside the rut, we don’t have the wider perspective of the person looking in to the rut.

It’s interesting and seemingly obvious but when you’re stuck in that rut you only have that “stuck in a bottom of a rut perspective” on life.

When you’re not depressed, it’s hard to connect with what depressed people are telling you. When you’re depressed and are up to looking for a way to improve, you assume that you’re on your own in this and there is no help because only you understand.

Is there any way out?

Imagine two situations now:

1. I ask you to record all your bad thoughts over the course of a week and what led up to them along with what might have been a better thought.

2. I ask you to record all your happy thoughts and moments (regardless of how small) over the course of a week and what led up to them.

The resulting diary will be interesting not just for the actual content. The first will show that you have a lot of bad thoughts but it does allow you to think about a better thought, which allows you to learn to transform your thinking. The second will actually show you that you have got happiness in your life and that it’s not all doom and gloom.

They both provide different benefits! But there’s a different emphasis and you can learn much from both.

There’s was recently a large study that concluded that people who get depressed are more likely to be people who ruminate over things. Imagine ruminating over the things that are going wrong and how bad things are and you can see an interesting lead in to feeling bad or even depression.

Lot’s of us ruminate. What happens if you started ruminating on the good things? On plausible possibilities perhaps?

What if you just take time off for a while and pretend that you have a future? That means that you have to admit that there is something to work towards.

[box type=”tick” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Try the lottery game:
This works if you’re depressed or not.
Pretend you just won 50 million on the lottery. So you can buy the houses and the cars and the boats that you want. List them and think about them. Then list the holidays you want to go on. So there will naturally come a point where you have all the things that you want and you’ve run away on holiday so much that you’re fed up of it. So are you going to do with your life at this point. The question is specific, it’s not what you’re going to do with your money, it’s what are you going to do with your life. You have chance to make a real difference here.

What will you do?[/box]

Give that some real thought because the answer is what you really want to do regardless of income and circumstances and depression.

You now have a goal. Now find some help to get there.

Too simplistic?

Worth doing?  I can only answer that for me, I’m giving it a go.



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