Feeling Depressed? Read.

More than 350 million people around the world suffer from depression. Less than half of them ever receive treatment. Antidepressants have become the most prescribed type of medicine in the United States. In the United Kingdom, one in six adults has been under anti depressive medication at least once.

But is it that difficult to conceive that maybe the problems of the mind can be interpreted as crisis of the soul? Maybe music, pets, dancing, or creating art are better than medication when dealing with depression. Maybe therapists should advise people on buying a dog or take a dancing class. 

In the same category of “antidepressants” is reading, which has a great influence on the mind. In fact, the term bibliotherapy, or therapeutic storytelling, was coined way back in 1916 by Samuel Crothers. But, truth be told, even the ancients knew that reading can mend even the most broken of hearts.

“The house of healing for the soul” was inscribed above the entrance to the royal chamber where books were stored by King Ramses II of Egypt.

Simply put, bibliotherapy consists of selecting reading material relevant to a client’s life situation. It has also been explained as “a process of dynamic interaction between the personality of the reader and literature-interaction which may be utilized for personal assessment, adjustment, and growth.”

Reading is said to be 68% more effective at reducing stress than music, and 100% more effective than coffee.

Books like Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers , Getting Better Bit(e) by Bit(e), How to Stop Worrying, or The Feeling Good Handbook are all recommended when it comes to overcoming a particularly difficult phase of one’s life.

Maybe what you can find in your library is far better than Prozac. At least it’s worth a try.

9 thoughts on “Feeling Depressed? Read.

  1. Yes it is at least worth a try. I am guilt ridden to make such a bold rash decision to medicate my child. We were scared and fearful that we’d lose her. Shame on all the s-called professionals.
    Makes me so angry. I see articles like this and have to wonder. Even situation comedies where parents are making better decisions than mine. “I will not medicate my daughter!” Katie from American Housewife.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While I am a huge advocate of reading (and real books at that!) I would caution you or anyone else offering up such simplistic panaceas for a very complicated disease like Depression. If reading was all it took to calm a depressed or anxious mind there wouldn’t be the epidemic that exists today. Instead I would urge people to get professional help via a therapist, psychiatrist and or a combination of medication. These are the best ways to TREAT this disease to date, and if you would like to read a book afterwards, more power to you. Offering up reading as a treatment method can cost people their lives, so I’d be careful in that arena. Best to you!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. This is a great blog and reading does help me when I’m feeling down as I use it as an escape. I’ve been reading a few blogs about depression and thinking of posting my own experiences about it. As I’m finding it helps if you talk about it especially through something like this.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you so much for these words. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you, again. I think everybody of us have at least a bit of depression. So, everybody should train, meet new friends etc. For me, training and friends are the best way to take more serotonin. And reading also. 🤗🤗🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety since early childhood. Medication caused me more problems than it solved, speaking personally. Writing has been much more therapeutic, but I don’t always function, and lack of productivity does cause stress, in itself. It still does much more good than harm though, and is how I survive.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I always advocate using non-medication techniques like music and reading to deal with mental issues (not based on professional advice, just my way of dealing with it). I believe these help establish a habit, which heals in the long run. That works well on me. However, I am not sure if this applies to everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reading is an excellent place to begin. 5 of 7 of my grand children have been medicated. I believe that they may need the extra help, however I also see that they use their meds as an excuse to not take personal responsibility to learn coping skills. ‘I do this because _______, or “I do that because ______”. I’ve been on meds myself during one period of my life. Long enough that I could feel what normal felt like again, and during that time was able to make some changes that stuck. No more meds. But I had to do that myself. Quiet time/solitude, reading and exercise have helped more that I can say. There are times I need to exhibit caution about what I’m reading and watching. The picture of depression is huge. There is not one answer. Thanks for your post. I really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.