We’ve been indexing and reviewing online resources since 1991. In 1995, we began awarding Web awards to recognize those online resources that really stood out. Flash forward 12 years later and a lot has changed. We aim to give you the best of the best, so you know where to go when you need information, opinion, and support.
With the invaluable assistance of regular blog contributor Sandra Kiume, I present to you 2007’s Best of the Web – Blogs for Depression. Depression is a difficult category, because there are innumerable blogs that talk about depression, some even on a fairly regular basis. But there aren’t many that are reliably engaging, post regularly, and keep up for months or years on end. We scoured the web for those rare jewels, some of which you’ll find below:
An anonymous “25-year-old black female” writing about her struggles with depression, suicidal thoughts and simply life, magnified. It’s quite personal and chatty, you can have dialogues with her. Also, commentary on depression in the news, celebrities and research news. She was first diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) but apparently that may have been a misdiagnosis, as she was recently diagnosed as having bipolar disorder instead. The focus of her blog remains the depressive side.
Unfortunately, she hasn’t blogged since September, but we hope to see her take up the keyboard again soon and continue her interesting writing on mental health topics and her own life.
2. Finding Optimism
It could have been on our Top Ten Bipolar Blogs list but is here instead since, although author James Bishop is bipolar, his posts are about general mental health, positive psychology and depression treatment topics. A wee bit saccharine in its optimism at times, it’s still interesting and he shares lots of great links. Especially good at writing lists, he’s done a Top Five Blogs on Depression list of his own. Furious Seasons tops his list and we had it ranked highly as a bipolar blog, since Phil identifies as bipolar. The lines can be so blurry…
3. Beyond Blue
Hosted at Belief.net, this popular blog by Therese J. Borchard is on spirituality and how it relates to depression, in “a spiritual journey to mental health.” She has a warm, welcoming, mashed-potatoes-and-gravy style and writes with consumers in mind, with a CV full of books and articles in major magazines. In this blog she comments on treatments, Bible scriptures and welcomes discussions like, “The Depression Debate: Biological? Spiritual? Both?” If you’re looking for a regular spiritual read on depression and mental health topics in general, this is the blog for you.
“Most widely read blog” on perinatal mood disorders and it’s easy to see why. Katherine Stone maintains a comprehensive, well-linked, and archive-heavy blog that seems to catch every news item and research article on the subject, including postpartum depression, postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), postpartum psychosis, and more. This blog is brightly written, reliably updated, easy to read and very informative. Kathleen is a former marketer turned advocate who is applying the blogging skills she developed with her award-winning first blog to this newer venture. Although it’s narrowly focused on a specialized field of mood disorders, Postpartum Progress definitely deserves to be recognized among all the top blogs.
LiveJournal is home to thousands of personal blogs that delve into depression, but this one by early adopter Erika (she began blogging nine years ago, when she was just twelve) is consistently exceptional. Powerfully written, intimate and evocative, we can’t help but be sucked into her life just as she is sucked in by depression. Be forewarned, however, that her language more accurately reflects real life, profanity and all.
An example of her writerly prowess: “Being severely depressed is having things in your brain randomly light on fire. If you’re severely depressed, these fires happen so frequently that all you have time to do is run around trying to get the fires to go out. Sometimes you have water for the fires, sometimes all you can do is try to light a backfire. Sometimes nothing works, and you want to die. Sometimes nothing works, and you live. You can’t tell what’s going to happen, but you can’t ignore the fires because they’re FIRES. You have to put them out. Trying to get back to normal is like building a house. To build a house, you need blueprints, materials, labor, and know-how/experience. I have some of these things, but not all at the same time. And all my experience is in putting out fires. Not building.” But, she is managing to build a brick house regardless.
This is an outstanding creative writing blog filled with “depressed doodles” by Andre Jordan. His blog is not so much about depression as maybe an extension of its emotional effects. Talented and rare jewel in the blogosphere. His doodles have been published in a hardcover book (Amazon UK link, couldn’t find the book on U.S. Amazon.com); they are funny and poignant. It is infrequently updated.
A cheery blog from Douglas Cootey, who has anxiety alongside depression (which is common). Distilled news, funny anecdotes and images, all with an optimistic and practical viewpoint. We enjoy his regular blogging and thoughtful insights. His anecdotes paint a picture that you easily get lost in.
Using Ian McKellar’s splendid and hilarious LOL Feed converter, Douglas also allows his blog entries on the The Splintered Mind with headlines as text over Flickr cat pictures. One of his posts in September sums up his approach: “Why Be Sad When You Can Be Silly?”
(This entry has been corrected to give proper attribution to the creator of the LOL Feed converter. – Ed.)
Easy reading, generally optimistic posts about depression and depression news, with a bit of advice mixed in. Anonymous mental health consumer blog. I like his writing but like one the blog features even more: each post has a footer with details about the post. Example: “Read the full post (812 words, 2 images, estimated 3:15 mins reading time).” Very convenient!
An anonymous blog by a presumably white hetero male, described as, “My journey through self help techniques and herbal remedies for depression.” It’s a new blog written by someone fairly new to treating his depression and social anxiety and it’s nice to follow fresh eyes as he tries various treatments. He’s just started on St. John’s Wort, for example. Cheer him on.
10. Depression: Art and Expression
Not exactly a blog, not quite a vlog (no RSS), but oh so web 2.0. A YouTube group with about 40 members who submit creative projects, music and their personal experiences on video. Cool mix of views and culture.
Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us (and our readers know) in the comments section and we’ll be sure to include it in our next round of reviews. (Because there are so many blogs that offer depression news posts (and it’s so easy to find depression news just about anywhere), we excluded such news-only blogs from our list.)