Depression is not a dog

I can’t think of a less helpful analogy. Dogs, are loyal and friendly. Even big looming ones with a sense of foreboding, like ‘The Grim’ in folk lore and Harry Potter.

Every person’s experience of depression is different, but I would certainly not characterize Joe’s as a canine. His was more like a cat. Cats are cunning and capricious. Have you ever watched a cat playing with its prey? That’s how Joe’s depression was.

What’s more, it’s like a cat who knows ju jitsu. Depression has an ability to actively undermine you. Like a martial arts expert knows pressure points, it knows your coping strategies and it knows how to beat them. It knows more about you than you know about yourself. The hidden triggers that make no sense but inexplicably send you into a tailspin. There’s nothing so happy that depression can’t turn it into a source of pain.

Joe’s better now.

But it’s definitely not a dog.

Les Miserables

Apparently it’s depression awareness week and Tim Lott writes about his experiences of the condition in the Guardian.

I’m loving his summary:

I have a suspicion that society, in its heart of hearts, despises depressives because it knows they have a point: the recognition that life is finite and sad and frightening.

Just because you’re paranoid…. etc. and so on.