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.