Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reading Away Depression

Can a book help with depression and anxiety? This Huffington Post article talks about Bibliotherapy.


I would be a perfect case study. I love to read and have not hidden my love of books. They take me away when I long to get away. Along with this blog, it is one of the big things that helps me to get out of bed and up and about each day. I long to read.

I have been reading as long as I have been able to read.  I carry a book or my Kindle with me all the time.  I read before bed and on the way to work. Why I am I still battling the shadow of depression at every turn.

While reading has not cured my depression, this Psychology Today article linked in the Huffington Post article talks about reading helping to change the negative thoughts in your head. On average we think about 25,000 to 50,000 times a day.  If the majority of your thinking is negative, you are more likely to be depressed. The negative thinking is the depression taking over. Reading helps you get rid of those negative thoughts.

I am less likely to dwell on the negative if I am reading. My mind is distracted. Unfortunately, I can’t read 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (That would be awesome if I could!)

So while books can temporarily help me to stop those thoughts from depression, they still come back when I put that book away. I can say though the books have helped me through some hard times.  Writing has as well. I think they both help me be more aware of my thoughts.


  1. Jen, I love reading, too, and have since I could recognize my first words. Reading has gotten me through tough times, and I don't know what I would do without books.

    It makes sense to me that reading would help keep the negative thoughts at bay. I'm like you--wouldn't it be awesome if we could just read all the time? :-)

  2. Jen, I was thinking about this topic today! Except with a question: Why do you read? Like you, I turn to my books when I need to unplug from everything. Even if just temporarily, the stories I read help recalibrate and redirect negative thoughts and energy. The only thing I need to be careful of is reading something super depressing when I'm already in a blue mood. You know what I mean? What are you reading, now? I'm into a historical fiction piece on ancient Rome that is like getting swept away. LOVE IT. Great post, btw.

  3. Depression and anxiety can easily cure by good book. We need to read good inspirational book.

  4. I so agree with you, Jen. Books have always been a healthy escape for me, for as long as I can remember. Particularly when I was in the deep pit of despair a few years ago, in a lot of ways books were a real lifesaver.

  5. I love reading, but I cannot read if I am depressed. When I am depressed I cant do anything, and that includes reading. maybe i should try harder

  6. The only thing I need to be careful of is reading something super depressing when I'm already in a blue mood. Tadalafil

  7. Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for the post! I had suffered from depression for a period of time while my family was experiencing financial issues. During that period, I spent some time researching the symptoms of depression. I found a few really great resources which were quite helpful to me. I just was hoping to share one of those with you, thanks! This way, you can help out a friend if they are feeling down, since I feel like it can’t hurt to have that added support.

    1. I am sorry to hear that about your family. I too experienced similar circumstances when I was younger, and there isn't really anything that can prepare you for something like that. Thanks for sharing the resource, and I hope that you are feeling better.

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