The Black Dog

May 22, 2017

Somewhat of a change in tack this morning, and certainly outside of my realm of expertise. But as a human it is certainly something that affects me, the people around me. Lurking in the shadows around us all.

Depression, Mental Illness, whatever name it gets given.

Last week a musical hero of mine killed himself. Never met him, but his voice tracked teenage Dave through high school and to where I am now. The reporting of it really grinded my gears. At first it was reported he had died, but quickly after reports flowed in with all the sad details that heap misery on to the family of the recently departed.

Now I may be connecting dots without clear lines, and if that is the case then I apologise, but the reporting of deaths related to mental illness leave a lot to be desired.

Perhaps, in this case, the lure of exposure due to the person’s celebrity influences the reporting. But no other disease (and yes, it is a disease. Even when drugs are involved, it’s a disease. Not a crime) gets neglected like mental illness.

If a person fights cancer for years, and finally succumbs, reports do not go into detail about how their respiratory system failed, or how multiple organs stopped functioning, depriving oxygen to the brain. They died of cancer.

But mental illness, when people fight it for years and years, and in the end get overrun by the dog in the shadows, we are treated to reports of how, where, who found them, what drugs were in their system.

Mental Illness killed them.

The idea of weakness, criminal behaviour, fragility or all the other garbage loaded on top of mental illness prevents us from the real task. Stopping the dog taking anyone else.

At the moment we suck at it.

I’d also like to shout out a dear friend of mine who after years of intense, crippling, vicious battles with the black dog has, as much as one can, muzzled it and built his own business while completing his first Ironman race.

Ring your friend who knows the dog and see how they are going.

RIP Chris Cornell

For anyone needing assistance

https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

Until next time

Dave