The Black Dog – Depression doesn’t always look like Depression

The Black Dog – Depression doesn’t always look like Depression

Published on Thursday, 05 April 2018

Posted in News

As Snow Patrol star Gary Lightbody opened up about his struggle with “The Black Dog” of depression since teenage years, saying he "used to think about not existing", the Princes Trust statistics documenting that 44% of young people in Northern Ireland say they have experienced a mental health problem is all the more poignant.

The Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index, based on a survey of 2,194 respondents aged 16 to 25, found that the happiness and confidence young people across the UK feel in their emotional health has dropped to the lowest levels since the study was first commissioned in 2009.  68% of young people in Northern Ireland regularly feel stressed and when asked to describe how they feel, 60% of young people said they regularly feel anxious and a third go as far as to say they feel hopeless.

AWARE are the only charity in Northern Ireland working exclusively for people with depression and they offer CBT and mindfulness-based young people’s wellbeing programmes for children and teenagers in schools throughout Northern Ireland. 

AWARE have also recently launched a campaign actively encouraging people to talk about the illness.  Bernard McAnaney, Chair, AWARE Board of Trustees said,

"Our campaign showcases the fact that ‘Depression doesn’t always look like depression’.  So often people experience signs and symptoms of depression most significantly a decreased pleasure in activities they formerly enjoyed; when they are not aware, they subsequently fail to seek help for the condition; this inevitably prolongs the illness.  Therefore, our recent campaign #iamaware is encouraging us all to notice these signs and symptoms of depression, not only in ourselves but also in family and friends and those close to us.”

AWARE offer free support groups across Northern Ireland including an online support group, CBT based wellbeing programmes including Mood Matters for young people, adults and older people; Mental Health First Aid and Living Life to the Full and mindfulness-based programmes for adults and young people including Paws B and .B mindfulness based schools programmes.

Fundraising and volunteering opportunities enable AWARE to continue to grow and sustain their services across Northern Ireland and they are always open to continued support.

Tags: AWARE Depression | Gary Lightbody | Princes Trust | snow patrol