Pain is very hard to explain to others. But, depression is even harder – especially to others that don’t have any personal experience with it.

Sometimes, it helps to use grief as a way in. Both depression and grief have sadness, and often anger, as a central core.

“I feel sad and angry that my painful injuries have created so many problems in my life. So many losses that are very hard for me to accept.” This is an example of how to start explaining what your depression is about. This way is simpler, and not as hard emotionally, as trying to describe how depression makes you feel.

When you want a close family member or friend to really understand your depression, you may need more than your words to get your message across. The following short video does a good job of clearly and compassionately describing what depression actually feels like, day after day after day. This is a very important part – the day after day after day part.

Many people who live every day in pain will also connect with the story in this video – a story of a  Black Dog who hounds them and never gives up.

The Black Dog is one of the main characters this brilliant cartoon, put out by the World Health Organization. The Black Dog is a constant and heavy presence in the life of a depressed man in this cartoon. This cartoon perfectly illustrates the symptoms of depression and how it can affect almost all parts of our lives.

Many people who watch this cartoon will say that the Black Dog is like the constant pain they feel. For some, the heavy and intruding presence of the Black Dog is partly from pain and partly from the depression, caused by the pain.

Over 90% of my patients suffer from chronic or long-term pain. Many suffer from pain and depression. The depression comes, not only from the suffering caused by their constant pain, but also from the limitations and losses caused by their pain, and the many ways their lives are affected.

Please check out this brief video. Share it with anyone who cares enough to learn about your life. It is well worth a few moments of your time. Here is the link:

I hope this illustration can help explain the mysteries of pain and depression and help your life in even a small way.

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Thank you for reading. Thank you to Ian Espinosa  (photo above) and Rachel Walker (image below), both from Unsplash, for your creative work. And, please feel free to steal, share or join our growing list of subscribers.