The Pro’s of reading whilst anxious/depressed

Hello beautiful people!!

For those who don’t know, the majority of my life I have suffered from anxiety and depression. It took a good 10-15 years to figure out what was “wrong” with me, and then it probably took another 5 years for me to go to a Doctor about it. I felt really embarrassed and ashamed about it, I didn’t want to take medication because people seem to think it a “weakness” if you can’t survive without it.

Recently, I went and saw a Psychiatrist. I was super anxious (which is normal) however after going I felt really, really relieved. I learned that the medication I have been taking for the last 3 years isn’t right for me, so I now I am going to be making the slow process of coming off that medication and swapping to something more suitable.

I have my very good days and very bad days. I have days where all I want to do is curl up with a book and forget the world. So that has therefore prompted me to write this post, about the benefits of reading with anxiety/depression.

  • It’s relaxing – I find there is nothing better than going to another world when things are overwhelming. There are some pretty crappy things going on the world, and I tend to really anxious because I get really sad for the people who are being affected. The reason I tend to read fantasy is because it allows me to escape and forget about what’s going on in the real world, therefore, making me more relaxed.

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  • Reading is enjoyable – I don’t know what it is about a bunch of words written on a piece of paper, but it is so much fun! I have always said that reading is like hanging out with friends, or potentially meeting new ones…all without the pressure of socialising (especially if you suffer from social anxiety). You can sit back and watch your favourite characters banter, fall in love and kick ass, without needing to do a thing!

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  • It blocks out the noise – I take the train every day, to and from work. It can be hot, stuffy and you can be surrounded by rude people who have no awareness for personal space or anyone else but themselves. I therefore find reading helps me block all of this out. It stops me from feeling claustrophobic or angry, and prevents me from wanting to rip someone’s head off!

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  • It fills in the silence – Quite the opposite to blocking out noise, but in those times where you are home on your own and there is too much going through your head, reading takes your mind off that.

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  • It gives you courage – this may sound silly but when I am feeling anxious or in a tough situation, I tend to think “What would <insert character> do in this situation. It gives me more courage to deal with the stressful situation, and kind of lets me separate myself from my anxiety. Kind of like how Beyoncé had Sasha Fierce 🙂

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So there is my little list of pro’s of reading with anxiety/depression. Of course, sometimes reading can provoke anxiety, especially when you are reading a book like Empire of Storms…that pretty much tears your heart out. But I like to think that the good outweighs the bad 🙂

I also just want to say, that one of the reasons why I have written this post is to let you know that if you are going through something similar – you are not alone. Please reach out to a loved one if you are going through a difficult time, or see your GP to get the ball rolling with some kind of mental health plan. I also want to let you know, that I am always here for you. If you need someone to talk to, or just need some encouragement – please contact me…I have facebook, goodreads and twitter – all attached to this account. Please don’t ever feel like you are in this alone.

There is my little rant for the day. Do you have any books that you like to read on particularly difficult days? Please let me know 🙂

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Steff xx

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