Beware the Black Dog (A Poem About Depression)
Writing is one of the top 10 professions in which people are most likely to suffer from depression, with men particularly at risk from the illness, according to US website health.com.
It says artists and writers are among the most vulnerable of professionals, alongside other "at risk" jobs including care workers, teachers, social workers, maintenance staff and salespeople.
Irregular pay and isolation contribute to the propensity for writers to succumb to depression with about 7% of male artists and writers likely to suffer a major episode of the illness.
Famous writer suicides as a result of depression or mental illness include: Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway, Anne Sexton and Arthur Koestler.
Novelist Simon Brett, who has acknowledged his own struggles with depression said "You spend long hours sitting on your own. Writing can be wonderful therapy, but you are digging into yourself, and if you are writing fiction and creating characters, a certain amount of self-examination and self-doubt is inevitable. Many writers are also introverted, quiet people, and find it stressful to have their work assessed publicly. Now there are reviews on Amazon, for example, that happens even more."
(source: The Guardian)
Beware the Black Dog
Beware the black dog,
He often stalks at night
And attacks unexpectedly
When your defenses are down.
He is not selective
In choosing his prey,
Though the most vulnerable
Are alway at his mercy.
Even those who appear strong
Have their weaknesses,
Often hidden or disguised,
Behind a false smile.
Be on guard!
He strikes swiftly,
And like some evil jester,
Steals your joy for his own pleasure.
Don't feed his insatiable hunger,
Think positive, uplifting thoughts.
Do things that make you happy,
Surround yourself with positive people.
He is Lucifer's hound,
Feeding on negativity and frustration,
Making you feel worthless and defeated.
But he can be overcome!
Let your laughter stifle his snarls,
Like a muzzle on his jaws.
Collar and chain him with your dreams and ambitions,
And slay him with your generosity and love of life.
Definition of Depression
- feelings of severe despondency and dejection."self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression"synonyms: melancholy , misery , sadness , unhappiness , sorrow , woe , gloom ,gloominess, dejection , downheartedness, despondency ,dispiritedness, low spirits, heavy-heartedness, moroseness, discouragement , despair , desolation, dolefulness, moodiness, pessimism , hopelessness (source: www.sane.org)
Are You Depressed? Take This Test To Find Out.
- Self-test - Depression - Black Dog Institute
Do our online self-test for depression.
© 2015 John Hansen