Blogging from A to Z Challenge – B is for Black Dog

April 2, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015, Experiences, Mental Health | 13 Comments

A2Z-BADGE [2015] - Life is Good

Black Dog

Black dog – a ghost in British legend relating to death.

The black dog is a symbol for depression, widely known in medical circles and among those with depression. I have suffered from it since I was a youngster, and still do. However, I am more able now to cope with its debilitating symptoms, partly through medication, and partly by knowing that I can get through it because I have done so for the last 60+ years.

This is a poem I wrote whilst in the throes of a depression.

Black dog brings me down;

Black dog lays me low.

How can I get away?

Where, oh where can I go?

Black dog stalks me,

Tracks me, follows me.

Wherever I hide

He always will find me.

Black dog is cunning,

Hiding and waiting.

However I try

I cannot evade him.

I want to catch him,

Chain him and hold him;

Keep him imprisoned,

So I can escape him.

Black dog brings me down;

Black dog lays me low.

How can I get away?

Where, oh where can I go?

Black dog he deceives.

He makes me believe

I’ve left him behind –

But there is no reprieve.

Black dog’s tenacious,

Stubborn and tireless.

I can’t outrun him

His stamina’s matchless.

I want to be free,

bright future to see;

and to know for sure

that he cannot find me.

Black dog brings me down;

Black dog lays me low.

How can I get away?

Where, oh where can I go?

If you suffer from depression, there is help. In Australia, the Black Dog Institute can help. So can Beyond Blue.

(c) Linda Visman



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  1. I did not know Black dog was an expression for depression. I like your poem.

    • Thanks Suzicate. Yes, it is used often here in Australia. I thought the expression was more widespread.

  2. I’d never heard of The Black Dog before. Very interesting.

  3. Such poignant words Linda. One can see that they come out of heartfelt experience. People just cannot grasp that kind of experience and I feel that the courage displayed by those, like yourself, who suffer from depression goes beyond anything we can grasp and understand. Thank you for taking us in to something of that experience through your poem.

    • Many thanks for your reply, Don and your obvious understanding. Depression sure is a blackness that dogs you and doesn’t want to let go at times.
      Nowadays, knowing it will pass is a huge help to dealing with it when it comes. It didn’t used to be that way.
      Life’s great! 🙂

  4. I have never heard of “the black dog”… but such a great metaphor for the thoughts of depression. I am glad you are staying ahead of the dog! Looking forward to more of your poems.

  5. Likewise, did not know Black Dog is an expression for depression. Your words are powerful and speak volumes. Thank you for sharing your poem.

  6. What a beautiful piece of poetry. My family also suffers from the black dog, and although I don’t have any answers I want you to know we’re here and we’re listening.

    Stopping by from Pam’s Unconventional Alliance, best of luck in the Challenge. Looking forward to more poems.

  7. Churchill was followed by the Black Dog. Powerful poem Linda thank you .. it’s true, we can never comprehend, only empathise, with this great suffering.

    • Yes, Susan, Churchill called it the black dog that followed him. Some say that’s where the term came from, but other sources say it is earlier than that.
      Thanks for reading & commenting – always welcome. 🙂

  8. […] B is for Black Dog […]

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