ABOUT black dog, white swan
We founded Black Dog, White Swan as a movement to inspire, educate and enlighten society about high functioning mental illness. After years of wearing a mask and feeling the pressure of portraying an illusion of perfection, we wanted to expose the truth. We want the world to know that despite our seemingly confident and successful image, behind the scenes we are often battling the shadow of our own black dogs and frantically trying to manage the endless anxious thoughts to keep our swans afloat without breaking our composure.
There are people just like us living with a mental illness, or generally struggling with mental health, yet remain to be high-functioning. They still live out their day-to-day lives like normal. They go to work, socialise, and function like anyone else.
Unfortunately, because they seem perfectly ‘normal’ on the outside, when they choose to be open about their mental health, they’re often met with phrases like "it can't be that bad, you seem fine."There is a common assumption that because a person is functioning in their day to day life, things must be under control. This doubt and disbelief fuels feelings of being a fraud, that your needs are not genuine or warranted and that others need to be convinced of the truth.
This stops people talking. It creates barriers to the normalisation of the mental health conversation and forces people to keep pretending they are fine. It keeps the mask firmly in place and causes people to suffer in silence.
It is time to break this cycle.