I thought this video did a decent job of trying to explain depression to those who don't have it. Nothing can really explain it, but this is a nice effort.
The first time I heard the "black dog" metaphor was in relation to Winston Churchill. He used it to describe the despair he felt. According to one modern psychiatrist
Churchill was so paralysed by despair that he spent time in bed, had little energy, few interests, lost his appetite, couldn’t concentrate. He was minimally functional – and this didn’t just happen once or twice in the 1930s, but also in the 1920s and 1910s and earlier. These darker periods would last a few months, and then he’d come out of it and be his normal self."Winston Churchill and his 'black dog' of greatness,' Nassir Ghaemi, Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine at Tufts University, January 23, 2015.
Except for the dates and the 'greatness' part, that paragraph describes my black dog, too.
I don't write for sympathy. I don't want it. I write in the hope someone else might find some solace in not being alone. I write in hope that someone else might seek the help they need. I write in hope that those without depression might recognize the black dog of a friend and understand.
I have tried for decades, literally, to write the definitive essay on my personal experience with depression. That's not going to happen. Instead, I'm going to write short posts that are relevant to my experience.
Note: I realize that 99% of people don't care about my story. And that's the way it should be. To them, this is TMI (too much information). I expect them to move on and ignore these posts.