I read a number of blogs about depression before I launched my own.
I want to be kind with what I say next but I’ve done an exorbitant amount of research and I know what I’m going to say is consistent with that research.
Many of these blogs posts sound the same all the time. They seem to be nothing more than a recounting of the host’s depression, over and over again. The comments are more of the same. Everyone reinforces everyone else’s low moods.
Let me be very clear.
Telling our story is a good thing but telling it over and over again is not. That is called ruminating. It’s a classic symptom of depression and if you are prone to depression and even if you are currently symptom free, you can talk yourself right back into an episode by ruminating.
I’m not suggesting that these blogs haven’t been helpful to some people but I question any long-term gains. If you were to visit a therapist, he or she wouldn’t allow a steady diet of rehashing, either.
For example, I posted on a young man’s post a few weeks ago. He was depressed but I didn’t encourage his depression by supporting his depressed mood. Instead, I encouraged him to think through some things rather than offer him only sympathy. I wondered how he would respond.
He responded that he hadn’t thought about what I suggested and was going to give it a try.
Empathy is good but sympathy can be counterproductive.
Again, I do not mean to cast aspersions on other depression-centered blogs. I’ve read some that are very good. Their content is honest but also encouraging. But it seems to me that many of them are no more than “dump” sites. They contain the garbage but they don’t compost it into anything else. It just sits there.
You will hear me lament at times too (in fact in just a few minutes) and let you in on my bad days but if that’s what I do all the time, that means I’ve succumbed to the illness and I need to get back on track.
There might be times that someone has to lament and pour out their hearts. I welcome that. I truly want to listen when someone is hurting. I know what that feels like. But I don’t want this blog to deteriorate into only that.
I have my bad days too. September is a month I watch out for. The sun isn’t coming up as early and it’s going down sooner. So I stay busy until I get used to the new schedule. That’s why I cleaned out some closets and started a few projects. It felt good to do something constructive.
And on those days when I share my own struggles, it will never be only that. I will always offer some helpful advice.
Feel free to share how you’re doing but don’t be offended if I suggest that maybe you need to turn your attention to more constructive activities.
God bless and have a good day.