While depression is one of the most common mental health concerns that people suffer from, it is not a condition that takes a single form. It affects each person uniquely and can look very different from one to another. In addition, the different types of depression are diverse, ranging from clinical depression and seasonal affective disorder, to postpartum depression and dysthymia (chronic depression).
This compilation of the best depression blogs for 2014 reflects that diversity, and does not assume that a person with depression wants to spend his or her time comparing notes with someone else with the condition. Below is a series of real-life accounts, practical advice and sound wisdom.
- In Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers, author Fiona details her experience with clinical depression and borderline personality disorder. Of particular interest is her discussion of the relationship with her therapist, and the honesty with which she details the inner conflict that sometimes clashes with her commitment to treatment. She incorporates commentary and links on the latest research in a down-to-earth, tangible way. It’s an insightful and inspiring read.
- My Postpartum Voice is Lauren Hale’s account of her postpartum depression. Although written primarily for mothers, it is also insightful for partners and professionals. It artfully discusses the chasm between what is meant to be one of the most joyful times in a woman’s life, and the stark reality of a depression that can blindside a woman after birth. Hale has developed a community around her blog by organizing chat topics and times, an invaluable resource for the housebound.
- Three Beautiful Things is not a typical blog about depression, but is cited by several other blogs which are. It follows a simple formula where writer Clare Law lists three things she is grateful for every day. Effectively an online gratitude journal, this makes one look up and around to pay attention to good things happening all around us. The blog has been going since 2004, which makes for a lot of happiness over the years!
- Depression Marathon is testament to a person’s determination to overcome mental illness. Despite having depression for over 13 years, author Etta runs grueling distances and doesn’t give up. Her tenacity and grit is remarkable. Her genuine, poignant voice is forthright and engaging. If you’re interested in psychosomatic symptoms, you may find this blog particularly thought-provoking.
- The Ezperanza blog contains a useful mix of tips from experts. There are lots of practical strategies to help a person cope with depression and anxiety, and it’s also very useful if you’re caring for someone with the condition. Some of the posts are quirky, such as the one on brain burps, while others focus on common issues such as overcoming negative thinking.
- The Chipur blog is a refreshing and positive read. Authored by Bill, who has had years of experience of mental disorder in both his professional and personal life, it is interesting to read more of a male perspective on depression. Besides his blog, featuring more than 600 pieces of relevant news on anxiety and depression, he offers online counseling.
- Penned by a fresh graduate, This is a Depression Blog details the life and times of a Canadian as she works through both her studies and dysthymia. Posts about leaving medication and therapy are particularly poignant. For any students who feel they are suffering alone, this blog could be a source of solace. The writing is self-analytical rather than self-pitying, giving her voice a contagious strength.
- The Black Dog Tribe blogs feature an eclectic mix of voices which discuss different perspectives on depression. Often friends and family are not sure how best to help when a loved one has depression. Solid advice is given here. ‘Tribers’ and guest bloggers have shared poetry, fundraising efforts, and honest first-person narratives, together fighting the stigma surrounding mental illness. You will need to spend a minute to create an account to see content.
- The Happiness Project is a fantastic resource for those looking for new ways to bring a little more cheer into their lives. Gretchen Rubin has achieved international acclaim with her best-selling books. Her blog is well worth a visit, drawing on research, anecdotal observation and wisdom passed on down the ages. Current work features on building happiness habits, which could well complement other treatments to depression. There are also five free three-week projects to help overcome common challenges to happiness.
- Dr. Sarah Ravin is a clinical psychologist whose work focuses on eating disorders, depression and anxiety. Her professional blog offers opinions on the latest research, clinical experience and a lot of no-nonsense, sound advice. She explains treatment terminology with tangible examples and layman’s terms, so the idea of seeking help becomes less intimidating. This is an excellent read, especially for those with comorbid depression and eating disorders.