In September 2013, after my friend’s suicide, I began a quest to understand depression.  This was my attempt at making sense of what seemed to be a senseless and tragic loss.

I stumbled upon this short and insightful video made by Matthew Johnstone in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

Using images and words that anyone can understand, this video gives a glimpse into what goes on in the life of someone experiencing depression.  The image of a black dog that follows you around, wakes you up with negative thoughts, grows big or small, and most importantly, can be taught to heel gives a face to depression, something we can handle and get a grasp on.

This video is a simple yet powerful introduction to understanding depression.  It makes some very important points:

  • Being depressed is more than just feeling sad.  It’s becoming devoid of feeling altogether.
  • When you lose all joy in life, you start questioning the point of it all.
  • Depression is an equal opportunity illness.
  • There is no silver bullet or magic pill.
  • You don’t have to be afraid of depression.  It may not go away completely, but with knowledge, patience, discipline and support, it can be managed.

If more of us are aware of depression and its nature, we have a better chance to help others and save lives.