An essay by Brian McLaughlin, Advocate
In my youth I struggled with recurring bouts of depression.
Not the blues but something much darker and disruptive.
As a young man I thought I should just tough it out, or walk it off. I felt ashamed and weak. On more occasions than I like to remember, or can remember I turned to drink. Many men do when confronted with the "Black Dog" as Churchill, a fellow sufferer of depression once called it.
I quickly discovered that alcohol, whether it be beer, wine, or hard liquor, acts as a depressant. The pit only grew darker and deeper. The combination disrupted every aspect of my life.
My manly attempt to tough it out, and walk it off, combined with false pride, arrogance, and desire to keep my illness secrete, nearly cost me my life. You see the "Black Dog," is very good at his job, he will hound a man until the only escape appears to be suicide.
Instead I dared to share my most lethal secrets. I got modern medical treatment. Now I no longer need to fear that "Black Dog" ever again. Because I accepted help, that young man I was, is well on his way to becoming an old man.
If what I have shared sounds familiar to you or someone you care for, get help. Otherwise there is absolutely everything to lose.
Respectfully submitted for your consideration,
Brian Patrick McLaughlin MS/CPS
MH Consumer Advocate
Erie County, PA.
© 2016 Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA