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Anorak | The Black Dog of Depression: The WHO Takes Up Where Churchill And Johnson Left Off

The Black Dog of Depression: The WHO Takes Up Where Churchill And Johnson Left Off

by | 13th, December 2013

THE Black Dog Dog of depression is hideous. Winston Churchill used the phrase black dog to describe his own moods.

 

 

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This followed  Samuel Johnson, who wrote on  17 June 1783:

 

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The black dog I hope always to resist, and in time to drive, though I am deprived of almost all those that used to help me. The neighbourhood is impoverished. I had once Richardson and Lawrence in my reach. Mrs. Allen is dead. My house has lost Levet, a man who took interest in everything, and therefore ready at conversation. Mrs. Williams is so weak that she can be a companion no longer. When I rise my breakfast is solitary, the black dog waits to share it, from breakfast to dinner he continues barking, except that Dr. Brocklesby for a little keeps him at a distance. Dinner with a sick woman you may venture to suppose not much better than solitary. After dinner, what remains but to count the clock, and hope for that sleep which I can scarce expect. Night comes at last, and some hours of restlessness and confusion bring me again to a day of solitude. What shall exclude the black dog from an habitation like this?

 

Neuroskeptic  says talking up the successful depressives is not helpful:

In the case of depression, the core stigma is that depression is a weakness, a moral failing. That depressed people are soft, weak, pitiable. This attitude is specific to depression not even bipolar disorder is seen in the same way, let alone the other diagnoses. They have their own stigmas. Depression’s is weakness.

Now  this  is why Churchill is a good counterexample. Not just because he’s famous or ‘great’, but because he was famously  tough . He faced down Hitler. He was blood, sweat and tears. In the most famous photos of him (and they are famous, out of all his photos, because they correspond to the mental image) he is almost

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Posted: 13th, December 2013 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink