Does reading really help one out of depression? Early this year, I posted an article about reading out of depression – where the writer wrote about how Saul Bellow’s Herzog helped her out of depression. She said, “….I was able momentarily to forget my own problems and lose myself completely in the richly detailed and beautifully rendered world of the novel.”
Emma Thompson, an English actress, also sought refuge in reading. She claimed that she was “saved” by immersing herself in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.
I’m sure there are many of us who find reading therapeutic. I’m one of them *wink* Anyway, did you know there’s this term called ‘Bibliotherapy‘? It’s an expressive therapy that uses an individual’s relationship to the content of books and poetry and other written words as therapy. The Wikipedia explains,
“The basic concept behind bibliotherapy is that reading is a healing experience. It was applied to both general practice medical care, especially after WWII, because the soldiers had a lot of time on their hands while recuperating. Also, the soldiers felt that reading was healing and helpful. In psychiatric institutions bibliotherapeutic groups flourished during this time.
The books kept the patients busy, and they seemed to be good for their general sense of well being for a variety of reasons. Bibliotherapy can give children the confidence they need to deal with anything that come their way. It also gives parents an opportunity to discuss it with their children and find out what is going on.“
I think most of us are already instinctively practicing it. We just don’t think of it that way. Good lah, this means, I am getting therapy almost every day haha Hey, but not so when reading non-fiction…you know, stuff about wars, abortion of babies, etc Those are definitely not therapeutic! 😛
What about you? Do you find reading therapeutic?