According to the UK Office for National Statistics almost 1:5 of us suffered some depressive symptoms in 2020 (up from pre-COVID figures of 1:10). It really is another major epidemic and as we feel more isolated, anxious and lonely the picture does not look set to change. As a response to difficulty it may be reasonable and normal to feel depressed.

There may be real things to be depressed about. But depression creates its own vicious cycle of low energy, lack of motivation and negative mind states that can spiral downward . It affects not only us but also those around us. Families and couples may end up living with depression in their midst, a sort of unwanted companion.

Self-critical mind states are often drivers of depression. We are not kind to ourselves when we are depressed. Family and friends and changes in circumstances and conditions around us can help to alleviate and resolve depression. Sometimes a safe place to talk that is free of you having to look after or protect anyone else can provide a space for unpacking what might be happening, voicing and making sense of the feelings and mind states and understanding them within contexts of other stress factors in our lives.

Beginning to build positive emotions can start to reverse the vicious cycle and gently create ways out of the bleakness of black dog experience.

Resources to help with depression >