Igitur non dormiamus sicut ceteri.

Black Dog Days: How to Deal with Depression

My latest piece is over at The Catholic Gentleman, wherein I try to actually use my depression for some modicum of good. I have a lot of gratitude for Sam Guzman for giving me the opportunity to reach another audience and help spread awareness about mental illness.

Recently, I’ve been going through what the great Winston Churchill called “black dog days.” These days are defined by an overall low mood, inability to cope with basic things like getting out of bed, or finding enjoyment in my usual passions. Do not fear, reader, this is actually normal for me.

You see, I have something called Major Depressive Disorder, which was in previous times called clinical depression. In the ancient world, the Greek physician Hippocrates labeled it melancholia. It is something I’ve dealt with for some time now, and my family has a long history of it. My family tree is full of folks who either ended up in the mental ward or at the bottom of a bottle due to this condition. A few, sadly, found more permanent ways of dealing with it.

Read the rest at The Catholic Gentleman…


2 responses

  1. Thanks for posting this over at Catholic Gentleman. I am in treatment for depression- both medication and counseling. The black dog days are indeed tough-debilitating, even. It is our cross to bear, and Christ loves us none the less for it. In fact, He dives right in with us.

    I really liked your advice to pray “I am not God, you are. Please help.” Took some time to do that today at a local church. Very calming.


    3 June, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    • M. Jordan Lichens

      Greg, thank you ever so much for your kind words! And you are right, Christ is very much there right in the midst with us. As is His mother, whose titles include the Joy of All Who Sorrow. However, the black dog days take a lot. I was in the midst of one when I wrote that piece and, I was surprised I could be productive enough to string some words together without expletives :).

      Thanks again, and I’m glad my little prayer helps. A spiritual counselor taught me that as a way of praying when my brain went blank during adoration or after Mass. It’s especially helpful, for me, when I can see an image of Christ or be near the Eucharist.

      Thanks again, and feel free to drop me a line any time. I enjoyed playing around your blog and I was glad to see Lewis’ touch in your life.


      4 June, 2014 at 11:23 pm