I had a black dog, his name was depression

At its worst, depression can be a frightening, debilitating condition. Millions of people around the world live with depression. Many of these individuals and their families are afraid to talk about their struggles, and don’t know where to turn for help. However, depression is largely preventable and treatable. Recognizing depression and seeking help is the first and most critical towards recovery.

In collaboration with WHO to mark World Mental Health Day, writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the “black dog of depression”. More information on the book can be found here: http://matthewjohnstone.com.au/

For more information on mental health, please visit: http://www.who.int/topics/mental_health/en/

Disclaimer: This video may contain links and references to third party-websites. WHO is not responsible for, and does not endorse or promote, the content of any of these websites and the use thereof.

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Comment (1,401)

  1. Do folks think this video might be helpful for a younger audience, like high schoolers? On one hand, I really like the points that are touched upon in this video. And the types of animations used make this video somewhat timeless (it's 6 years old and I can't even tell!) On the otherhand, there are parts of the video that seem more useful for mature audiences, which is a bit of a bummer.

  2. Wow this is bang on. They know how I am now. Its like drug addition you are never really cured its a fight every day. I keep fighting for my kids and wife.Sometimes it feels like I only stay alive to stop their pain even though Im in agony just living. Keep fighting the black dog …Or he will chew you up.

  3. The reason why the used a dog is blatantly obvious.
    They smell, eat there own and every other bit of shit they can find, make loud noises, bark for no reason, are extremely heavy, destroy everything you love, they can't be left unattended, are expensive to buy and fix, everywhere you go the dog will randomly shit and you've got to pick it up, they trespass and got you into trouble, if you go on holiday they normally come with you, need I go on?

    Where as cats are the complete opposite and then some. Where as looking at cat's, being with cat's and everything they do is calm and collective. Even though I've had anxiety & depression for as long as I can remember.

  4. I hate when people simply say "I'm depressed" or "I have depression". I was diagnosed as depression and I live with a black dog in my heart, head, and body. I know how hard living with it. I act normal at work, I laugh, I smile because I want to hide my condition from my coworkers. It's very tiredness. I always have negative thoughts in my mind. I lost interests on anything. I see a psychologist every Saturday, it's $20 per week. It's $80 per month. I'm not sure if this is helping me. I don't know why I'm living in this world with having all these negative thoughts, no life goal, why am I living in this world if I'm not happy. There's noting can make me happy ever again. So please don't say if you are depressed or have depression without seeing a doctor or truly diagnosed it. Sorry for my unprofessional English grammar

  5. The term "black dog" is not suitable to be used; a black person like me is not comfortable with such a name. How about you call it "the white dog" instead since it is mainly associated with whites, or because it is overwhelming like white/ bright light. After all, black/ darkness helps one rest and calm down.
    Better still, don't associate black or dog to it. Call it depression!

  6. I recently came across this video, and I think it's such a disappointment that the WHO would put this video and the term it carries up for viewing, even with the numerous complaints about the term! I'm disappointed. I expected better from the WHO.

  7. With the help of Zen master, we will learn how to meditate and how to control our black dog (inner emotional feeling). Only with breath in and breath out therapy will ease the inner pain and find inner peace. Of course, there are more solutions and breath in method is one of the suggested method. such as excercise, community activity, kungfu with the breath in and breath out…

  8. I got this depression from trauma then anxiety after depression for 10 years now, I know I am strong but i don't know when will all these end. I am very very very tired, I have these suicidal thoughts. Please pray for me 🙂 :(((((

  9. Hi there everyone! I am a small YouTuber that focuses on mental health on my channel! If you are someone you know are struggling with any mental health issues I have some helpful videos on my channel that you can go check out! I also offer my subscribers the chance to dm me and talk to me for one on one advice if that would be something you think might help💓

  10. WoW! A mental health specialist gave me this link. It talks about me as a person. I'm 43, totally alone as I push everyone away. I can't work and some days I wonder why I go on. I am incredibly irritated about the most trivial things and find humans the most irritating. I am so sensitive and get hurt easily. I crave love and attention in my life but am so used to being on my own. I know things have to change. What a fantastic video.

  11. Don’t be ashamed! You have to speak up how you feel, and what you need help . I already went through depression, I already thought about suicide. Because I kept silent, I didn’t share anything, I hide my feelings with my partner, i refused his help regardless he was willing to help me a lot I was afraid i am an burden . One day he couldn’t stand my depression anymore, his depression came back. Now we have to stop our relationship to cure our health. I feel very regret about that. Now i am curing depression by meditation everyday, i go outside to play with nature, i plant trees. And important I always speak up my feelings for everybody, how I feel, what I need to help. I am getting more better every day. I hope my partner’s health is good and I hope we will get back together soon.

  12. What a sad metaphor ! My 3 dogs are the sunshine of my life. I am so thankful I have them in this otherwise shitty life. They are one of the few things that make me feel grateful about life. Using the word "dog" to talk about depression is a total contradiction in terms ! You should have used another metaphor for depression!

  13. This video refers to the dog as 'mongrel' and 'mutt'. WHO, choose your symbolism more carefully! Dogs are beautiful, happy animals, and their presence literally helps ward off sad and negative thoughts.

    I've had depression. It did not feel like a silent companion that came and went. It was ever-present. I think you could and should have chosen a different concept for the imagery. Perhaps a dark blanket might have been better.

  14. when does a person begin to really see the blackdog for years its been there at your feet the mental anguish begins when mistake after mistake is often covered up as depression maybe aloved one cant cope with your dramas the dog takes hold and then the depression quickly itensifies next thing your so called putting labels all over yourself i know ive become a walking stick it note god grant me the ability to know the difference sadly most cant see the difference when i wake up tomorrow i promise to have no negative thoughts practice my positive mental attitude and try as hard as hell to push the darkness away and let some new light in stay safe and be proud of whatever you have because some have less its a good thought be strong and smile and remember to TALK its also a big plus in life

  15. So incredibly relatable. Currently having the worst time of my life with Depression and Anxiety,feel so alone like it will never get better and i have no purpose in my life anymore. Keep trying to tell myself I can get better and certainly hope I will. This is hopefully a phase that I will get over as I hope all you will guys will aswell. Good luck to you all👍🏻

  16. I don't know. If this is an accurate representation then I guess I'm fine. I can get rid of these feelings by watching a video, playing a game or listening to a song, or whatever. I shouldn't complain then I guess. I don't have it this bad to be fair.

  17. Okay, but why did you use a dog as an example though- dogs actually help, A LOT- the irony,, x'd But yes, everything in this is super true though, and ngl hearing it come out of someone else's mouth made me tear up a bit.

  18. Clearly the dumbass never had a black dog, or any dog ever. Come on, anyone that has a dog knows that canines generally are the opposite of depression.

    So if you have a black cat? Everytime it crosses your path, you're granted 7 years bad luck?

    Okay, so if you have a black Ferrari, what then?

  19. I think depression is a whole lot more complex than is portrayed. The remedy seems simple, but it isn't. I cope with being house bound, isolated, in severe and constant pain, alone, death of my two young children, for which there is no cure. A progressive disease which I cope with daily, but fear losing my independence. However small. How I would love to be able to walk again. Be pain free, ride my bicycle, go shopping, feel normal like others. Everyone has a different set of difficulties to overcome, according to how overwhelmed they feel, or how strong they are and the quality of support they get. Some are lucky, some are not.

  20. I just got out of the hospital after stay there for over a week because of suicidal thoughts caused by my depression. They played this video I cried like a baby. It’s like someone had hacked into my brain and made a video about this terrible illness.

    Please remember no matter who you are. You are not alone and there is help out there. Don’t let it wait until you hit rock bottom like I did.

  21. A dog never makes depression. It's people. Perhaps a bad fat jerk lived in his life. A big fat bad version of himself. So..live with yourself. We have to change not others. Bad and uncreative Video

  22. I wanted to come years later to this video to say that it came to me at a point that it helped change my life in coming out of depression.

    6 years ago, I was a teenager suffering from depression, and I felt incredibly stuck. There wasn't any awareness about depression around me (and I didn't know what I was suffering was called 'depression'). My family also couldn't afford medications or therapists – we were poor

    I remember it was a combination of two things – my teacher who told me 'you have potential', and she really meant it. No one ever seemed to believe in me then.
    And then there was this video. I remember I wanted to know what my symptoms were, and then not too long after looking, I found this video. And I realized I've been suffering depression all this time.
    I then thought "Maybe if I just keep reading about it there is a way out" – I saw this light of hope even though I was in a very dark place. I kept reading, and one day I told myself "This is it. I am born with this life for a reason and I will not let ANYTHING or ANYONE stop me in living a good life".

    It was incredibly tough. I remember it was one of the hardest battles and it took months of trying to follow the advice I read on the internet – "smile – just the act of it helps physiologically", "be around people", "distinguish the voice in your head that's depression" and etc. I kept doing it every day, and I didn't give up because I knew that I will not let anything stop me from living that good life I was meant to.

    After about 1.5 months, I started feeling results. After about 3 months of consciously fighting every single day, I felt that I am starting to come out of it, and even though I was still to suffer anxiety for 2 years after, actively fighting depression starting to come out of it was the hardest part.

    6 years later, I live a healthy life and I am still not going to let anything/anyone stop me from living up to my life value, and all these things just made me so much stronger than many people.

    If you are suffering depression – I know its hard, but believe me, there is hope, and you CAN do it. You are meant to do great things with your life and your life is given to you with a purpose. You are valuable and you are important. Don't let ANYTHING or ANYONE stop you from it. You CAN do it. Read, practice what you read, and don't give up. I genuinely believe in you.

  23. We watched this video in class, and some students started laughing and someone said "depression isn't even real. There are just idiot people who can't enjoy life"

    Well, me and some other people got very emotional at this point, cuz we are depressed


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