Romanticising Mental Illness & The Black Dog Barking

Romanticising Mental Illness & The Black Dog Barking

March 22, 2017

**Constructive Criticism with a nice little easter egg at the end



I've seen many trends come and go. Mullets, tramp stamps, DJ Rankin and Ugg boots. Still waiting on skinny jeans to disappear.

Skinny jeans or my testicles, one of them will have to go.


At the risk of sounding old I've seen mental health progress through many stages or 'trends'.


Trendyness Stage 1: Marty Morrissey at a Tupac concert :

When I was a young teenager I knew nothing of depression, but was depressed.


Trendyness Stage 2: Paying prostitutes for hugs and foot rubs :

Years later, I learnt about depression but didn't tell anyone as I thought depression was my unique little disease and was definitely not to be broadcasted.


Trendyness Stage 3: Tinted Windows on a Cinquecento :

A couple of chest hairs later, I started talking about mental health to people and realised other people not only know about mental illness, but actually suffered from the same symptoms as me and were willing to talk. 


Current Trendyness Stage 4: Mister G Q fucking Smoooooth :

So in the present, I feel like the stigma in Ireland surrounding mental health has been nearly completely abolished (maybe not, in some of the more secluded country parts of the country (leitrim), kind of always worrying about gaeilgeoirs.). I could be completely wrong, but anyone I know openly talks about or approaches the topic, where it used to be whispered to samaritans. That could be just my little circle.




Thanks for summing depression up in a meme, I feel much better now thanks. 


But I'm seeing shit like this everywhere on the daily! For real. When I was severely depressed, I remember looking online and seeing facebook comments saying "Hungover....I'm depressed af". Fuck me, I wouldn't wish it on anyone but do not throw that word around lightly. Which is kind of the point of this post. I still don't know what a Tracker Mortgage is but I do know there's a few words getting thrown around lightly.


So yeah, great times, great times indeed. The stigma is being well-and-truly obliterated and more than likely, if you're reading this, you've probably done your part. So good on you. But all this flinging of words can be quite dangerous. In fact it's very dangerous. 


It's absolutely fantastic people are opening up and showing their support for people who are sick. Doing it on social media or through any other platform is brilliant but please god, just make sure you know what you're talking about. I've seen and heard of people suffering with anxiety because they have a job interview coming. Some people have OCD because they like to have the volume on an even number. ADHD is getting thrown around like a midget hooker. (Read Here) Which is funny because I don't see many people posting about Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Bulimia or Bipolar. Myself included.


So before I go any further, I'd like to put my own hand-up and say I am very guilty for some of these accusations.

'It's OK to be not OK'..... I said it, I meant it.

'You have no health without mental health'.... I said it, I meant it.

Jesus Christ on a jellyfish I feel kinda silly. Stephen Contradiction-sidine. 


Them sayings may have helped someone in the sense they don't feel fully isolated and but can they really resonate with someone with 47 filters and #selfie #anxiety.


Jesus Christ I'd make a point if I didn't keep bablyon on like David Gray and getting more sidetracked than Colin McCrae and that little rhyme there made me more wayward but nobody has ever seen a baby pigeon. MY POINT IS these words have been thrown around lightly and may lost all their substance. So if you are going to throw around a few words about mental health make sure you're not preaching about something you don't know.


Don't say you're disabled if you've got a dead leg. #disabled #depressed


Please continue to post and share information about mental health, you have helped but please please please when you use the word depression, know what pain that word contains.


You might only be further isolating people who have absolutely nothing to cling onto. Relating to other people with depression/anxiety/ADHD/OCD (or any other mental illness that is seeming kind of trendy) are these peoples ONLY vice. Please don't take that away from them and further isolate them in their lonely world.




Black Dog Barking


This is the constructive part of all that criticism. Regardless of these words becoming over-saturated and useless, if you are really struggling with depression here's a cool little thing for you to have and if you are familiar with Winston Churchill's black dog of depression this will make sense.


It's a simple enough thing but whenever your head is gone super wobbly and you don't like saying to people you don't want to live anymore, just tell them that the Black Dog is Barking.


The black dog is barking. 


Send it in a little text. Use it whenever you can't face leaving the house. It's just a nice little code-word that you can use instead of using words that may now carry less weight. 


(Somebody told me this but I can't remember who (I think it's an Australian thing?) and I'm really sorry if you're reading this but you were obviously so absolutely meaningless to me that I've completely forgotten who you are #soz)


Anyway, I hope you black dog barking gets you out of a dark hole, and I hope you enjoyed my scattered writings.












paragraphs I wrote but decided ot leave out.


Depression is laying in bed paralysed for months. You've been blinded of the meaning of life. There is absolutely no reason or purpose to exist, and so what if you were not here? No one would miss you, even if they did, you cannot forego the pain of waking up another day to meaninglessness. Anything you have achieved is thrown out the window and thoughts of anything bad you have done must be resurrected to be consumed for weeks. Conversations with actual people are barely noises. You can't bring yourself to pet your dog. Constant binge eating or not eating anything at all. Getting pleasure out of harming yourself because you feel like cause you deserve it because you are shit. Any friends or relationships? Nah, even if you do, they need to be forced away as soon as possible incase they get to know 'the real you'.  Every breath is debatable.


(it is comforting to know you are not alone, but if you're reading this and suffering with a mental illness; connect, empathise and learn as much as you can from your new friends, but try not


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