My Depression Is Like Having A Bad Dog
July 7, 2018 5:33 PM   Subscribe

People who know me personally will know that I have a dog and that I'm fairly open about it, but it isn't something I discuss much publicly. I prefer to wait a while to introduce people to it, because my dog is difficult. My dog is not a good dog.

Dog Years, by Kaye Blegvad, for Buzzfeed.
posted by Adridne (25 comments total) 76 users marked this as a favorite
As someone who ordered pizza for her and her kid because I haven't the spoons to do anything else, this resonates super hard right now.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 6:37 PM on July 7, 2018 [9 favorites]

I hope this gets made into a small picture book. I have people i want to buy copies for as well as my own shelf.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:11 PM on July 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Excellent piece and I look forward to seeking out more of Kaye Blegvad’s work.
posted by ejs at 7:15 PM on July 7, 2018

It took years for that work to pay off, and during that time I wasn't able to engage with much else. The dog had my focus.

Owning a bad dog sure can sap your energy. I liked the way it moved on to the idea of other people’s dogs.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:01 PM on July 7, 2018

I saw this previously and followed her on IG, where I now look at all the lovely jewelry the artist also designs.
posted by PussKillian at 8:15 PM on July 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

“But what will you do to keep away the black dog that worries you at home?”
posted by not_the_water at 8:15 PM on July 7, 2018

Love this, thank you.

Small picture book found!
posted by gennessee at 8:27 PM on July 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

Thank you gennessee! I also got her joy toy, a tiny maze that reminded me exactly of how life can feel. Her work is so loose lines and precise at the same time, beautiful.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 10:10 PM on July 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

My dog tried to kill me once, but my wife managed to him off of me. She got a few scars from the fight. Now we watch him closely together, and know what to do when he snarls.
posted by AstroCatCommander at 10:13 PM on July 7, 2018 [19 favorites]

I don't know how to interpret the section where her dog and her friend's dog get together, play, and wear each other out.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:30 PM on July 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Some people get you and in sharing the burden, the dogs are worn out. Other people don't help. (Make the depression worse.)
posted by freethefeet at 1:02 AM on July 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

Ok but ‘treats’ is an poor analogy for medication. Does she mean that this is how she manages (motivates? Placates?) the condition?
posted by freya_lamb at 4:55 AM on July 8, 2018

This analogy has been made into a powerful comic by another artist: "I had a black dog, his name was depression."
posted by musofire at 5:20 AM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

freya_lamb: "Ok but ‘treats’ is an poor analogy for medication. Does she mean that this is how she manages (motivates? Placates?) the condition?"

I don't think the treats are medication. I think the treats are sometimes doing what the depression wants - in order to get through the day you need to indulge in habits you'd prefer to break, like sleeping 12 hours or eating a huge bag of Cheetos.
posted by capricorn at 7:45 AM on July 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ah wait never mind, I just read it again, you're right - it is medication.
posted by capricorn at 7:46 AM on July 8, 2018

I really, really appreciated this. Enjoyed isn't the right word at all, but it was good, and hearing of others and how they manage is a boon.

And somewhere in all this is a witty comment about cats being better than dogs, but I can't quite think of it at the moment.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:33 AM on July 8, 2018

Also Winston Churchill.

Yeah, I often refer to my dog as my Black Dog, like Churchill did. And sometimes I think of it as a wolf, which, like Fenris with Odin, could swallow me whole if I allowed it.
posted by homunculus at 10:14 AM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I read treats as treatment.

It works as a symbol for self care, or medication, or even as couple of self-indulgent mopes.

I am slightly skeptical that everyone has a black dog. Everyone feels bad sometimes, but depression feels like a different species than quotidian sadness/grief/low mood. Not a difference in dog size.

I'm open to being wrong, but that's how I've understood it, speaking as a life-long dog owner myself.
posted by wires at 11:22 AM on July 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

I agree that not everyone has a dog, and sometimes people without dogs don't want to be around dog-owners, ever. But the analogy is pretty effective otherwise.
posted by colorblock sock at 12:21 PM on July 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks, OP! I haven’t seen this before and it really speaks to me.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:30 PM on July 8, 2018

Thank you for this.
posted by theora55 at 4:20 PM on July 8, 2018

Thanks for posting and thanks AstroCatCommander for making me suddenly cry while eating a burrito.
posted by sweetjane at 2:33 PM on July 9, 2018

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