The Benefits Writing Has On Mental Health

If you suffer from depression and anxiety, you will find your disorder takes away your ability to function in some aspect of your life. Whether it be socializing or taking care of your self, something is affected.

And typical anti-depressants are not always the most effective treatment; in fact, they are only completely effective 20 percent of the time(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK361016/). I found this to be true for me.

After I was prescribed Zoloft when I was first diagnosed with depression, I noticed little improvement. I still had days where I could not get out of bed. And I still found myself with no hope for the future; I just could not see any point to living. This heavy weight that I always carried with me did not seem to lighten whatsoever.

With the little help I got from medication, I began to look for ways to care for my mental health.

Treatment, at least for me, involved numerous changes in medication, therapy, and changes in my lifestyle. I have found that writing, for me, was a good way to keep my disorders from ruling my life.

Here are a couple ways writing kept things under control.

It helped me stay focused

When I was 14, my ability to focus left. Even when I was doing something I had loved to do, I could only keep doing it for so long. Like ten minutes max. Then, I would set it aside and just do nothing.

When I began journaling at home, I noticed a few things.

Like how I was able to feel more present in what had happened that day. The events of it, how I had felt, everything was just coming together in the sentences I was writing. Before, if someone had asked me how my day was, I wouldn’t have known how to answer. But after I had written, I had a better grasp on what had happened.

This is because, by writing about my day, I had to focus on the details, which I really hadn’t done before.

I thought more logically

“Psychologist and expressive writing researcher Pennebaker says, “Writing about an emotionally charged subject or an unresolved trauma helps you put the event into perspective and give some structure and organization to those anxious feelings, which ultimately helps you get through it.”(https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/want-to-improve-your-focus-and-lower-stress-in-2017-science-says-to-take-up-this.html)

Writing is great for stress relief. And journaling about your feelings from an emotional event is very clarifying. It can put what happened in a new perspective, seeing the description on paper. This is can be very useful for people that have PTSD and other anxiety disorders.

I wrote about traumatic things that had happened during my childhood. The abuse that had occured, how I had felt about it, and how I thought it had changed me.

These are things that had bother me to do this day. Reminders of these events cause my stomach to feel sick and my heart to pound. These triggers caused a lot of anxiety.

And while writing did not completely take that a way, it did help me see the things that happened with out my emotions involved. At least for a while. And most of all, I became more self-aware.

Writing is something one can do easily;you don’t even have to leave bed. Putting your feelings and thoughts into coherent sentences and paragraphs help you make sense of them. And eventually, with regular writing, your ability to focus will improve.

You don’t even have to be a good writer;just put your feelings and thoughts on paper.

What do you like to write about? Let me know in the comments. Follow for more posts like this.

-Laney

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