Black dog walking
Originally uploaded by goddess_spiral.
Many blogs I visit have dealt with the subject of that black and hungry dog who returns again and again with the same baleful expression.
Depression takes many forms. Sometimes it is temporary and situational. Other times it is a lifelong challenge. It can be a crushing weight that makes it difficult to get out of bed for days at a time, or a vague sense of unease or self-doubt that allows life to go on, but never with the fullness or zest that it might have. It can be helped, but rarely eradicated with medication.
Though I have not written about it here, I once experienced an episode of post-partum depression that lasted nearly a year. Thus I read with great empathy whenever I happen upon a blogger who has awakened one morning to find the black dog standing outside the gate. Where it comes from is frequently unknown; how long it will remain, or how much it will demand from us during its stay is more troubling still.
A couple of times blog friends, after writing several posts about low moods, have simply and abruptly vanished. This is the most frightening development of all because as long as we're creating poetry or photographs , journal entries, or postcards from our pain, then we're unvanquished. Even if all we can write is: I hurt.
Silence is the black dog's ultimate victory.
So here's my survey question. Of course, any answers are speculative and subjective, since there is no hard data on the subject. But often in the lone subjective voice speaking its own truth, we find the greatest wisdom.
Do you think depression is particularly prevalent among bloggers? And if so, why?
a) Absolutely not. "Bloggers" are a group as diverse as society itself, no more prone to depression or any other illness than anyone else.
b) Since creative people in general are more prone to mood disorders , it is likely that bloggers suffer more depression than average.
c) The blogs I read seem to bear this out.
d) The blogs I read seem to contradict this.
e) Depression is an epidemic not only among bloggers, but in society in general. Perhaps it is even a "sane" reaction to the stress and uncertainty of contemporary life.