Depression is something many people experience. I myself experience it, and my kind of depression is NOT a chemical imbalance. Now, if you are depressed due to depressing situation that is one thing, and you may want to seek professional help somewhere along the way. However, if you have a chemical imbalance that causes you to be depressed or other things DO NOT take this as a reason to go off your meds. Please, understand, I am not a psychologist. I write through my experiences and have not had any training in the field. So, please continue to follow your doctors orders. This may help even those with a chemical imbalance, but I cannot stress enough that if you are medicated or need to be, please seek professional help.
Now, I am a writer at heart. I love to write for many things. I write poetry and fantasy esk stories. My poetry is from experience, and I honestly haven’t written much poetry lately. I do write short stories and am working on a few longer ones. I do not have anything published, so I’m not officially an author in that sense, but I enjoy them here at home. And the few I’ve shared with like them as well.
My mother and grandmother are writers, and my grandmother has been published in the past. So, I guess this runs in the family.
Writing while depressed is good for you for many reasons, but you don’t have to write poetry or stories. You can if you want to, as long as it follows along with the point of writing to help depression. The point of writing to help is to get those hurtful, nasty, horrible feelings out. Once they are out on paper in black and white, there are many things you can do with it from there. You can look at these problems with a literal outside perspective.
By looking at your pains on paper you can then choose how to deal with them, or think of things to help resolve them. Write those down as well, that way when you come back to read it (if you keep it that is), you can see our progress. Keeping your writings and looking back on them you can see how far you’ve come. For me, when I keep my writings, I see the process as a, “Hey, I’ve been through worse.” Or even just to see how far I’ve come. It can be inspiration to push harder to get through your depression.
Another thing you can do is write it out in a prayer journal and pray about it. Then when God answers your prayers you write that in your prayer journal as well. This is the same concept, however, you can also see that your prayers did, in fact, get answered. Sometimes we forget that God does answer our prayers, and the next time we have a problem it may be harder for you to turn to him to help. When you look back at a prayer journal you can see that he did answer them. This will cause you to spend a bit more time in prayer. And I’m sure we all could use a bit more time in prayer.
Here we like to say to give our problems to God. Most of the time that is extremely hard to do. Especially for me, as when I feel like I do not have control it causes major anxiety for me. So another thing I have used in the past (and still use), is I write down all of these horrible things that I’m holding in. I crumple it up making it kind of like a stick shape. I light a candle and I pray. When I’m praying I say, “God, here I have written my thoughts and fears that I cannot handle. I am giving them to you. I am Laying them at your feet and giving you control to fix the problems. And I am letting go of it.” Then I burn the paper to signify letting go and officially giving it to God. For me, and others I have helped through this, it works very well. Especially for those things that we are really having a hard time letting go of. And trust me, I’ve worked with some very skeptical people. My sister probably being the most skeptical, but every time I have done this with her, and every time she has kept a journal it has helped her work through her depressions tremendously.
The last type of writing is what I like to do most. I take my problems into the fantastical area. Meaning I create a character that may have problems like mine, or feelings, thoughts, etc… Then I run with it. My character then takes these problems, and creatively as I push her (or him) through these there are reasoning’s that the problems are there. One that I am writing has to do with the pain I deal with on a daily basis. Yes, pain can cause depression. And what is even sneakier is that depression can cause pain. What a vicious circle. So, since I cannot do a lot of the things I used to, I write. One of my characters takes the feelings of being unable to do things because of what she is, and puts it into her quest to find her place in the world. She ends up receiving power from a dragon. She is nothing but a tiny Halfling, and she saves her world with the power of a dragon infused inside of her. This story isn’t finished yet, but you get the point. And the story is a reminder of many things. Just because you think you cannot or are told you cannot overcome something, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. You may not just surprise everyone around you, but you may even surprise yourself.
So, what do you do after you get all these out on paper? You think it through from a different perspective. Work it out now that you can see it from another side. And eventually you may want to share these with someone you are comfortable to share them with. Letting someone else look at it and give you their view will help you work through the problem(s). If they have advice, great, take it or leave it. And you don’t have to stop at one person. You could get the view of many people, through a group, or different friends and family members. Heck, you could send me an email and I’d happily help you analyze it. Maybe even put it up as an anonymous letter, answer it in a post, and others comment on it your problem and my answer, and even give their pointers on it.
There are many ways to work through depression, writing is just one. Writing is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to self help. What kind of writing do you do?