6 years ago · Leah Fogt · Comments Off on “I had a black dog, his name was Depression…”
The metaphor of the “black dog” is widely used to describe the experience of depression. Some are surprised to learn that Winston Churchill (and those close to him) used this metaphor to describe periods of melancholy and sadness. http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/Foley.pdf
For those of us who struggle with depression, using metaphors like the black dog can be really helpful in identifying strategies for feeling better, and perhaps more importantly, reduce feelings of shame and embarrassment. If you struggle with depression remember: YOU NOT DEPRESSION. It does not define you. It is not who you are. It is a challenge, separate and external from you. You might consider having a conversation with your therapist about metaphors for depression that are helpful to you. Some people see depression as a rain cloud that follows them around – sometimes it’s big and dark, pouring down, while other times the cloud is lighter, maybe only sprinkling. Some people experience depression like a super-villain, and they are the super-hero who mobilizes her/his strengths and powers to defeat the enemy. Similar methods have even been used to help empower and motivate cancer patients to beat the disease!
What metaphor works for you?
Categories: Skills and Resources