Hiya. I have read many times that blogging or journalling about experiences with depression can be really therapeutic. I have tried it a couple of times in the past but found it to have quite a negative impact on me. I ended up just whining about how crap life was and I think this kind of perpetuated my negative perception of everything. I’m wondering if anyone here regularly journals or blogs about their experiences with their mental illness and has been doing it in a positive way. I’m not quite sure how to go about doing it. I know I really want to write about this stuff but I am afraid of getting trapped in that “poor me” mentality again.
If you have a blog can you please link me to it? Or if you know of a blog that is perhaps not your own but you have found helpful. And any tips on how to positively blog about depression would be much appreciated!
It seems to be more about approach. If it becomes a long list of all the things that are wrong, or just a huge pile of all the times that you were miserable, then every time you look back at it, you’ll be focused on nothing but misery and it will indeed make it seem much worse. Since I’m bipolar and have an awful memory, I’ve used private journals to help track the patterns of mood to try to help determine what things I’m doing have good or bad effects. I’ve also used it to try to sort out which ideas and feelings are consistently “me” throughout, and which are just the depression talking.
From a less analytical approach, private blogs can also be used to vent your thoughts and feelings without having to edit them for public consumption. However, those types of posts are best used one-way. Get it out of your system and then let them go, don’t go back to reread them later. Consider that type of blog as waste disposal. It can be a relief to release those emotions, but going back over them later just brings it right back into your life and mind and defeats the purpose.
Public, or semi-public blogs provide the community support and help you feel like you’re not alone in what you’re going through. Communities like this one are definitely beneficial. It was a huge relief for me when I found this place. Even something as simple as a handful of “me too” posts can still make you feel better about what you’re going through.
From a less analytical approach, private blogs can also be used to vent your thoughts and feelings without having to edit them for public consumption. However, those types of posts are best used one-way. Get it out of your system and then let them go, don’t go back to reread them later. […]
Getting it out really helps me to stop ruminanting the same negative thoughts again and again and again. I’ve keep something to write somewhere close to my bed so when my brain just won’t shut up at night I just write those thoughts down and in most cases the effort uses up the negative energy.
For me blogging this stuff isn’t an option. Dealing with people inside normal social boundaries is difficult enough without talking about things they don’t want to think about… or them asking questions. b/c you’ll never know who’ll stumble upon your posts.
But getting the stuff outta your head helps ; )
I can definitely relate to that. I am tired of people wanting to talk about my blog posts or other social media postings about how bad things are/how bad I feel about things when we meet in person. It’s extremely awkward. And employers/bosses especially don’t deal with it well, especially smaller companies. They think it’s going to harm the company’s reputation/PR. If you don’t name names, I think these fears are often exaggerated, because this assumes the reader is going to be able to positively identify you from your blog (when there may be several people with the same name in the same city), then be able to tell from there what company you work for, then that enough people are going to do this, and/or are going to rumor-mill it hard enough, to turn it into a big enough thing to actually hurt their business. Nonetheless, I suspect I’ve lost a job or two over this kind of thing.
I’ve started maintaining something like two parallel web presences. Consider having an anonymous blog for personal struggles and complaints and your personal life in general, and a public/professional blog for voicing constructive opinions on technical matters or talking about interesting problems you’ve solved or things you’ve learned, basically all the things that might make you look good Do the same with twitter. Set the personal one to protected, crank up the privacy settings on your Facebook a notch, so you have one communication channel for close friends and family and another for work-related contacts. Use different email addresses. The more stuff you can think up to write on the positive/professional/public blog, the better it suggests you’re doing. Once you’ve got a few posts on it, you can look over it at those times when the depression hits and you’re getting highly self-critical, and remember that that side of yourself exists.
Writing something along the lines of a diary on a semi walled-off social site is something I have been doing more or less my whole life, or at least the past twenty years. Keeps the google indexer out of your thoughts, and people finding merit to your thoughts and words, become a kind of mental/emotional community that to at least me spurs getting back to it, instead of abandoning the idea. I have tended to get girlfriends primarily through that writing over the past decade, so there is lots of merit of intimacy too, in my experience.
Mine hasn’t been in English for the most part, though like another poster, I have had some more public places too for more polished text crafting outlets, too. For those, I can’t recommend medium.com enough; it’s a slick editing experience, and even nicer for reading, no matter what device you use to access it. (Even companies like Tesla use it, as it’s easy to make things look, feel and be awesome there.)
Learning to spot self-reinforcing negative patterns is something I do more or less instinctively, these days, so I tend to not get stuck in snowballing misery, for instance, but that might not be terribly helpful, as tips go.
There’s a book, I can’t remember what it’s called but it outlines a framework for journaling your reactions, fears, thoughts, etc.
Maybe treat the blog/journal as a getting things done email. You list what went right and wrong today, what you can be positive about, what can be changed, and what you’ll do differently tomorrow.
I’ve been blogging since my incident and I feel like it is extremely therapeutic to verbalize your feelings and write them down.
Every time that I read my posts, I have more dissociated perspective about what I feel. It’s also extremely rewarding to have people emailing me about my blog and how it has helped them. Ego is good for everyone and we all deserve a treat
Blogging makes me feel empowered, like I can turn the negative experiences into positive ones for myself and others.
I understand your feelings of self pitty, what you have to realize is that, altough we shouldn’t start a self pitty party every time something bad happens to us, we should allow ourselves to cry and vent.
I always have a couple of post drafts and everytime I feel down, I try to express it, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. What you’ll soon realize is that you’re not alone and you’re not the only one experiencing those feelings.