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Thread: The Black Dog

  1. #1
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    The Black Dog

    In talking to a few people the last few days, both on here and in Ďreal lifeí, Iíve the feeling that lockdown is taking its toll.
    Letís talk about it. Letís support each other. Letís not judge.

  2. #2
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    I’m finding really hard not to see my parents. My dad is terminally ill and it feels as though his last few good months may be spent behind closed doors. I’ve always been close to them and have them over every week for a roast. I’m still making too many potatoes. I miss them.
    Other than that, not too bad. Financial worries obviously but I’m in the boat with many others with that.
    But thankful too. We haven’t been too badly affected and hopefully it stays that way.

  3. #3
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    Iíve never understood why depression is known as the black dog. Dogs of any colour make me happy. Working from home means I really do miss my work family. Fortunately Iíve a dog at home to keep me company so Iím at peace.

  4. #4

    The Black Dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    In talking to a few people the last few days, both on here and in Ďreal lifeí, Iíve the feeling that lockdown is taking its toll.
    Letís talk about it. Letís support each other. Letís not judge.
    Great thread Dave.

    Generally speaking we are all shit about talking about mental health.

    Middle aged men especially.

    And yet according to The Samaritans -

    Men aged 45-49 still have the highest rate of suicides. The suicide rate increased for this group in 2018.

    We need to learn to talk. And accept that itís ok not to be ok.
    Last edited by jfb1977; 16th April 2020 at 09:41.

  5. #5
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    Iím finding really hard not to see my parents. My dad is terminally ill and it feels as though his last few good months may be spent behind closed doors. Iíve always been close to them and have them over every week for a roast. Iím still making too many potatoes. I miss them.
    Other than that, not too bad. Financial worries obviously but Iím in the boat with many others with that.
    But thankful too. We havenít been too badly affected and hopefully it stays that way.
    That's really tough Dave, this thing robs you of precious time with family. My wife is resigned to never seeing her aunt again and not even being able to attend the funeral, and I can see the sadness in her eyes.

    We know that compared to most of the world we are incredibly well off and have access to some of the best medical facilities with amazing dedicated staff. We've tightened our belts but whatever happens we will always have a roof over our heads, food on our plates and access to healthcare. This crisis will come to an end as all things do, and we hope for some positive outcomes.
    My old clock used to tell the time and subdivide diurnity; but now it's lost both hands and chime and only tells eternity. PH

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    Quote Originally Posted by seabiscuit View Post
    Iíve never understood why depression is known as the black dog. Dogs of any colour make me happy. Working from home means I really do miss my work family. Fortunately Iíve a dog at home to keep me company so Iím at peace.

    I believe it was Winston Churchill who referred to his depression by that name.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  7. #7

    The Black Dog

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    I believe it was Winston Churchill who referred to his depression by that name.
    Thereís a fascinating article by Paul Foley of the Black Dog Institute (the Australian organisation focused on depression) that looks at the history of the term.

    http://alienson.com/files/Black-dog-...Paul-Foley.pdf

    He concludes that Churchill popularised its use, but It dates back to Samuel Johnson if not before. Regardless it is a powerful metaphor.

    To the OP, stay strong. Not being able to meet with family is one of the biggest challenges currently. I speak to my father who is in his 80ís most days, and we have started running Zoom sessions so the family can get together for a chat, but it is never the same as being able to meet them and give them a hug.
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 16th April 2020 at 05:37.

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    Supporting what Willie says above. Dave can you get your folks on video calling. I know its not the same as spending quality time with them ( or solves the potato excess) but it adds another dimension to a phone call.

    My wife is keeping in touch with her 87 yrs old mum by doing her garden, when she takes up food essentials milk bread etc.

    Mil sits in the house by the door / window and they chat and the weeding gets done. This really helps my wife as she misses the contact. They can obey the 2 metre rule but my wife can better assess how the mil is feeling coping.

    Steve.
    Last edited by higham5; 16th April 2020 at 07:44.

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    I think daily exercise can be a great help, and more easy to find the time now that you're at home anyway.

    I'm making a point of going for a run every day, and twice a day at weekends and it's great for clearing the head.

    I'm fortunate to not suffer from mental health issues, but I've plenty of mates who do and they all advise exercise.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb1977 View Post
    Great thread Dave.

    Generally speaking we are all shit about taking about mental health.

    Middle aged men especially.

    And yet according to The Samaritans -

    Men aged 45-49 still have the highest rate of suicides. The suicide rate increased for this group in 2018.

    We need to learn to talk. And accept that itís ok not to be ok.


    Some very interesting posts.

    I suffered with depression and contemplated suicide in my late 30's. ( I have never admitted that before - even to my wife!) I got through it thanks to an astute and sympathetic GP.

    I think if the current situation had occurred then it would have tipped me over the edge. However, older and wiser, I can now count my blessings - my wife and daughter, family and friends are well and hopefully we will all get through unscathed. The weather is good, I am taking exercise and gardening, we are not going to lose our house or starve!

    I've been furloughed, not missing work but worried that it will be a long time before my industry is back up to full speed. But if I don't get back, so be it! It might be the incentive I need to go and do something else, which I have been talking about for some time.

    My parents are in their 80's and frail, we are protecting them as best we can but are worried. If one gets it, it will probably take them both. Not being able to be with them would be hard but we can't stress about things outside our control or might never happen.

    Generally speaking we are lucky, there are a lot of people much worse off. I think the long lasting effects of this virus, physical and financial, will continue for years.

    Stay safe. Mark

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    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Dave, as said above can you not video call them?

    My father in-law lives just a few doors away from us, normally my wife would pop in 2-3 times a week but she now video calls him or walks by the front and they have a distanced waving chat.

  12. #12
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    I had my flight cancelled for next week so I doubt I'll get out to the US to see my son this year.

    I haven't seen my eldest or my two Grandsons since this all began.

    My Mum is in lock down in care home.

    A friend died last week and his funeral is today which I am not able to attend.

    But apart from that I'm reasonably happy.



    That said mental ill health is a terrible thing and my heart goes out to those who suffer from it. A good friend of mine had a bit of a breakdown a while back but is well on the mend now I'm very glad to say.

    Stuff can just get on top of you and take a cumulative toll and I wish anyone on here who is suffering some respite from mental anguish.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  13. #13
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Energy often flows where worry/negativity goes.

    Stay strong - the storm will pass.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  14. #14
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    You never truly realise what a social species we are on a daily basis until the freedom to socialise is drastically restricted.
    Last edited by Chinnock; 16th April 2020 at 21:22.

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    Following the separation from my wife of 27 years last year I’m living alone and must admit I’m am missing my ‘children ‘ terribly- although they are in their 20’s we usually hang out 2 or 3 times a week - these are tough times
    I feel for everyone separated from the ones they love
    Take care TZ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chinnock View Post
    You never truly realise what a social species we are on a daily basis until the freedom to socialise is drastically restricted.
    Yep.
    Sage like words.

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  17. #17
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    So, having ‘spoken’ to Dave earlier this week the black dog had been prowling. I had a nervous breakdown that started gradually and culminated/ peaked September 2015. Unfortunately there was a lot of stuff that that had just been pushed to the back of my mind, ignored, not spoken about etc etc. I nearly lost everything, marriage, family, the full monty - including trying to find ways of making suicide look like an accident. Wife was really understanding but only on the premise that we undertook counselling.
    Now that was an interesting experience for us both, and the counsellor, particularly when I explained some of the things that had affected me from mob days.
    It’s easy for me to say now but, if you are feeling gash talk to someone - they would rather you ‘bothered’ them than have to attend your funeral.
    There is more out there now than ever, and if you are struggling google Menshed, it’s a great organisation for precisely this purpose.
    Finally, if anyone ever want to have a chat pm me, if I can help out I will.
    Take care people.
    James

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    Brave thing to share mate. Thank you.
    And thatís the purpose of the thread. Itís not about me missing my parents, (although I do!), itís about somewhere to mention youíre not feeling 100%. There are some very knowledgeable, very compassionate people on here. So you arenít alone.

  19. #19
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    Thought a little bump for this was a good idea.
    Maybe some are feeling the bite of the virus?

  20. #20
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    I've been listening to "How Do You Cope? Öwith Elis and John" on BBC Radio 5 Live. It covers some very difficult subjects in an amiable way, as they discuss mental health issues and life's challenges with a wide range of guests. There are a few that cover depression, e.g. David Cotterill, but all are worth listening to.

    It is available as a podcast or on BBC Sounds.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07...odes/downloads

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/brand/p07rq6vh


    This short video is worth watching.

    My old clock used to tell the time and subdivide diurnity; but now it's lost both hands and chime and only tells eternity. PH

  21. #21
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    Missed this thread when it first came out, but thank you for bringing the subject up.
    As already mentioned it's often not talked about, or dismissed annoyingly often with the words 'man up' which is not helpful.

    I've had battles with my mental health for years, coupled with an addictive personality, which included spells addicted to drink and gambling, I've managed to move on by still haunted by its impact.
    My wife lost her brother during lockdown not due to Covid but Cancer he was just 30, she's still struggling to come to terms with it, and refuses help, due to various reasons, so I've been walking on egg shells so to speak for a few months now.

    A couple of my mates suffer really bad and when the black dog vists one of them he is awful to live with, he has started to open up and talk about things a little and has been helpful for the family and friends to understand a little of what he's going through and so tailor support better.
    The other isn't as bad, although when I heard of a search in a local area for a suicidal man, my first thought was him, I called his mobile at just after 5am to check on him, whilst he wasn't best pleased at the time of the day, he was happy someone was there for him.

    Remember its good to talk, there is a wealth of information online, and also a lot of local support groups.
    https://mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/resources/
    https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
    https://www.mind.org.uk/
    https://www.samaritans.org/


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    I just became a dad to twins in July.. first time parent. I had a very active social life before and that ground to a halt. Honestly finding it so hard what with the sleep deprivation, the constant care needed for them, and basically having no time to do anything to unwind myself mentally. And of course we have had no help or support at all from friends or been able to go out at all really, due to COVID. I know it will improve eventually.

    But itís really, really hard.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicaneuk View Post
    I just became a dad to twins in July.. first time parent. I had a very active social life before and that ground to a halt. Honestly finding it so hard what with the sleep deprivation, the constant care needed for them, and basically having no time to do anything to unwind myself mentally. And of course we have had no help or support at all from friends or been able to go out at all really, due to COVID. I know it will improve eventually.

    But itís really, really hard.
    Postpartum depression is virtually unheard of yet if we said post natal depression everyone had heard of that, it's real and needs to be discussed about more.

    When my son arrived, my wife suffered PND I worked nights at the time so would come home I'm the morning look after him all until 2pm when he would go to an aunties for a few hours and then be back up to get him back at 6pm, feed him, bath him and then put him to bed before leaving for work at 9:30pm 7 on 7 off.

    When my daughter was born I suffered from postpartum depression, I would make bottles but that was about it, I would find reasons to leave the house, walking to the shops to get milk or loaf of bread could take me several hours, the shops less than a 5 minute walk from my house. This phase lasted until she was 3 or 4 months old.

    There is help available, and if your struggling I'd suggest seeing your GP.

    http://postpartum.org/services/dads/...nxiety-in-men/

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  24. #24
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    I have a profoundly autistic 7 year old boy who also has other medical conditions (epilepsy, peanut allergy). He had an life threatening seizure last month which meant he went on new medications that have made him super aggressive. Combined with his autism this has meant he attacks other kids and teachers at school, tries to choke himself with small toys to get attention, will make himself vomit again for attention and is genuinely a real handful to care for. He was already hard work and this has made it worse.

    He is my son so that is my duty but it has gotten to the point where I'm not sure how much longer I can do this for. Part of my hates myself for hoping that when he gets older he can go into some kind of facility so that my wife and I can have some form of life again, but what about his life?

  25. #25
    Craftsman RS404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    I have a profoundly autistic 7 year old boy who also has other medical conditions (epilepsy, peanut allergy). He had an life threatening seizure last month which meant he went on new medications that have made him super aggressive. Combined with his autism this has meant he attacks other kids and teachers at school, tries to choke himself with small toys to get attention, will make himself vomit again for attention and is genuinely a real handful to care for. He was already hard work and this has made it worse.

    He is my son so that is my duty but it has gotten to the point where I'm not sure how much longer I can do this for. Part of my hates myself for hoping that when he gets older he can go into some kind of facility so that my wife and I can have some form of life again, but what about his life?
    A lady I used to work with has a son with a similar condition. He moved into a specialist care home in his teens and he's really happy there.

    The people who run these places know how to deal with the very complex needs of kids with autism. There's no shame in finding him expert care.

    I wish you all the best, can't imagine how hard it is.

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    I have a profoundly autistic 7 year old boy who also has other medical conditions (epilepsy, peanut allergy). He had an life threatening seizure last month which meant he went on new medications that have made him super aggressive. Combined with his autism this has meant he attacks other kids and teachers at school, tries to choke himself with small toys to get attention, will make himself vomit again for attention and is genuinely a real handful to care for. He was already hard work and this has made it worse.

    He is my son so that is my duty but it has gotten to the point where I'm not sure how much longer I can do this for. Part of my hates myself for hoping that when he gets older he can go into some kind of facility so that my wife and I can have some form of life again, but what about his life?
    My son has ASD and we have found local support groups that whilst I'm not one to sit and chat to a group of strangers, I do find the range of resources and information extremely useful.
    We also have a couple of local schools.and activity groups that cater for ASD which we haven't needed to utilise but could and would have if needed.

    Have you reported the behaviour change to the doctor after the medication change? My wife works a pediatric neuro department and she's mentioned that some drugs have negative side effects where as an alternative may not.

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  27. #27
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloater View Post
    My son has ASD and we have found local support groups that whilst I'm not one to sit and chat to a group of strangers, I do find the range of resources and information extremely useful.
    We also have a couple of local schools.and activity groups that cater for ASD which we haven't needed to utilise but could and would have if needed.

    Have you reported the behaviour change to the doctor after the medication change? My wife works a pediatric neuro department and she's mentioned that some drugs have negative side effects where as an alternative may not.

    Sent from my Phone 2 using Tapatalk
    Thanks for this. Yes the drug has a well known side effect (it is even called 'keppra rage') and he is tapering off it onto another anti epilepsy medicine (sodium valproate) and hopefully that will keep him seizure free whilst stabilising his anger. He is in a specialist autism provision at school but even they were saying he had become too disruptive to have as part of the class so we were worried he would lose this place

  28. #28
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS404 View Post
    A lady I used to work with has a son with a similar condition. He moved into a specialist care home in his teens and he's really happy there.

    The people who run these places know how to deal with the very complex needs of kids with autism. There's no shame in finding him expert care.

    I wish you all the best, can't imagine how hard it is.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
    Thank you

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    I have a profoundly autistic 7 year old boy who also has other medical conditions (epilepsy, peanut allergy). He had an life threatening seizure last month which meant he went on new medications that have made him super aggressive. Combined with his autism this has meant he attacks other kids and teachers at school, tries to choke himself with small toys to get attention, will make himself vomit again for attention and is genuinely a real handful to care for. He was already hard work and this has made it worse.

    He is my son so that is my duty but it has gotten to the point where I'm not sure how much longer I can do this for. Part of my hates myself for hoping that when he gets older he can go into some kind of facility so that my wife and I can have some form of life again, but what about his life?
    Ryan my pal from Kayaking a few years ago had a 12 year old son who was profoundly autistic. Both his parents are teachers and some of the calmest people you could hope to find. They couldnít control his violent behaviour despite being schooled in childrenís behaviour as a job. He also has younger and older siblings.

    My pal gave up work and took a casual job to spend more time with his son, but he still couldnít cope.

    There son went into full time care when he was just into his teens as the violence was over powering his wife. It was a major step for them as they felt they had failed, I guess in reality the would ď never winĒ.

    In the residential care he was much calmer and the parents and siblings looked forward to visiting.

    Ive lost touch with him since I gave up kayaking otherwise I would offer to put you in contact with him. However Im sure as suggested above there are local support groups that have parents going through the same stages as you and your family. Reach out to them for your own peace of mind and see how they have coped with what must be a challenging problem at so many levels.

    Steve

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    I have a profoundly autistic 7 year old boy who also has other medical conditions (epilepsy, peanut allergy). He had an life threatening seizure last month which meant he went on new medications that have made him super aggressive. Combined with his autism this has meant he attacks other kids and teachers at school, tries to choke himself with small toys to get attention, will make himself vomit again for attention and is genuinely a real handful to care for. He was already hard work and this has made it worse.

    He is my son so that is my duty but it has gotten to the point where I'm not sure how much longer I can do this for. Part of my hates myself for hoping that when he gets older he can go into some kind of facility so that my wife and I can have some form of life again, but what about his life?
    That sounds terrible, Ryan and I can only imagine how hard it must be. It's my biggest fear now with my two boys (they're coming up on 4 months old) and why I was so resistant to having children in the first place.. if I find there's something badly wrong as they start to grow up, I can't imagine how hard it's going to be for me to handle.. and it sounds like the difficulty of your situation has already severely taken it's toll on you. I hope for your sake, and for your son, that you manage to get at least some improvement in circumstances.. be that medication or whatever, to help make the situation easier to manage and help give you all some quality of life back.

  31. #31
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by higham5 View Post
    Supporting what Willie says above. Dave can you get your folks on video calling. I know its not the same as spending quality time with them ( or solves the potato excess) but it adds another dimension to a phone call.

    My wife is keeping in touch with her 87 yrs old mum by doing her garden, when she takes up food essentials milk bread etc.

    Mil sits in the house by the door / window and they chat and the weeding gets done. This really helps my wife as she misses the contact. They can obey the 2 metre rule but my wife can better assess how the mil is feeling coping.

    Steve.
    Good suggestions, Steve. I have a granddaughter in NYC who I've not even seen yet (she's now 4 months old), but periodic FaceTime calls at least give me a chance to "speak to her" and check in with my daughter. It's better than nothing.

  32. #32
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    I have a profoundly autistic 7 year old boy who also has other medical conditions (epilepsy, peanut allergy). He had an life threatening seizure last month which meant he went on new medications that have made him super aggressive. Combined with his autism this has meant he attacks other kids and teachers at school, tries to choke himself with small toys to get attention, will make himself vomit again for attention and is genuinely a real handful to care for. He was already hard work and this has made it worse.

    He is my son so that is my duty but it has gotten to the point where I'm not sure how much longer I can do this for. Part of my hates myself for hoping that when he gets older he can go into some kind of facility so that my wife and I can have some form of life again, but what about his life?
    Mate, that sounds awful, and I fully understand why your mind is turning to solutions that might make your lives more manageable in the future. I would have thought that support groups would help right now, though, and that would be my suggestion.

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