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Blogging While Depressed

Blogging While Depressed

by Regan

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Let me just put it out there right now: depression sucks. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my adult life and doing things while depressed is hard. Blogging is no exception. In fact, I think one of the hardest things for me to do while depressed is to blog. 

Depression isn’t just feeling bummed out; it’s a mental illness that is always there waiting in the wings, but the symptoms usually come and go in waves. Sometimes I feel normal, or at least my version of normal, but other times I slip into a depressive episode that makes it harder to be at the top of my game. When I’m in the throes of a depressive episode it may last days, weeks, even months at a time. 

That’s the struggle because when I’m depressed my train of thought is zero, my patience is zero, and my confidence is zero. See where I’m going with this? On the other hand, it’s hard to write about the struggles of depression without sounding depressing. 

Blogging While Depressed

First, let’s talk about the symptoms of depression. As you can imagine, many of these depression symptoms can and do relate directly to blogging. 

Symptoms of Depression:

These symptoms come straight from the National Institute of Mental Health, and may include some or all of the following:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Persistent aches or pains, headachescramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings

I tend to ebb and flow with my depression and unfortunately I let outside influences get to me which causes more of a funk. I am in a pretty severe funk now that has finally gotten me to start considering meds again. Right now I am having a hard time concentrating, I’m forgetful, I’m zapped of all energy, pessimistic, irritable, I am not interested in much of anything, I’m suffering from frequent headaches, and I am anxious. As you can probably imagine, this isn’t all that conducive to getting my blog on, but all is not hopeless. I do have ways of coping and while I may not post as often and it may take me longer to write a review than usual, I do have some tricks up my sleeve to get me through the rough patches. 

How I keep blogging while depressed:

Depression is different for everyone in terms of symptoms and severity. Right now I am in a more severe depression funk but I have to keep plugging along. I have sponsorship commitments to fulfill, reviews to write, and things to say. As with any job, I don’t have the option of throwing up my hands and quitting until everything is hunky-dory again so this is how I get through it.

Take a break

As long as you don’t have a deadline to meet, it’s okay to take a few days to collect yourself. 

Ask your friends for help

Do you have any blogging friends who are looking to guest post? Talk to them about posting on your blog so you can have a break. 

Keep lists

I do this all the time anyway, but when I’m depressed it’s even more important for keeping my thoughts straight. When an idea comes to you, write it down! Either in a notebook or a smartphone app like Wunderlist or Evernote. I have both of these apps on my iPhone and my Mac (they work just as well on an Android and PC) so I sync them together and use them for lists or blog post paragraphs that I add to later.  

Keep things in perspective

Believe me, I know how hard this is to do when you’re depressed. Boy, do I. I tend to take things way too personally and am absolutely ridiculous when I’m depressed. Logically I know that I’m thinking and behaving irrationally but I. Just. Can’t. Stop. I need some time to talk myself off the ledge and you may too.

Be realistic, Regan and while you’re at it, get over yourself. Easier said than done, but I’m trying!

Do you also suffer from depression? What are some ways that you use to get through the day?

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Jill July 1, 2015 - 11:23 am

Apparently I spread my gloom and doom to others and that tanks their respect for me and therefore they don’t want to work with me. Talk about a really circular Catch 22. Ouch. Depressed because your depression causes you blog problems is not so much fun. I start blog posts with details, add tags, etc. and save them to work on later if thoughts cross my mind. I use good times to create pictures, fill in more details, and do research. I’m a perfectionist, too, so I’m never quite happy with what I create.

A few years ago I didn’t have that problem. I wrote about whatever I wanted, but trying to ‘improve reach’ and ‘get more fans’ upped the paranoia and depression. Getting anything done when you feel helpless and like a failure isn’t exactly easy. There’s a lot of us riding the same road, with varying degrees of success.

Regan July 1, 2015 - 12:11 pm

I also tend to be a perfectionist as well and you’re right, it doesn’t always help. I have lots of almost completed posts in my drafts that are probably perfectly fine to post but to me they’re not quite right. I also choose better times to spruce them up and get them published.

Cassidy Ciazza Morelli June 30, 2015 - 7:56 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. I used to blog and found the ups and downs of depression interfered with my dedication to my blog and topics. I’ve had struggles with depression and oanuc attacks throughout my life. People don’t like to talk about it, the stigma attached is bad.

Darlene June 29, 2015 - 9:45 pm

Hi Regan. I know exactly what you’re talking about. I have suffered with depression for as long as I can remember. And it is hard to blog when I’m in the midst of a bad wave because everything seems pointless. I practice gratitude and living in the moment and it helps a lot. I actually have posted several times on the topic. I’ve come to realize there are so many people bogged down by depression and I’m not alone. Neither are you.

Regan June 30, 2015 - 12:20 pm

No, we’re not alone. There are a lot of us out there and while writing about it leaves me feeling a bit vulnerable, it gets the word out that this is a real thing and many of us are living with this.

Michelle armstrong June 29, 2015 - 7:44 pm

Hey have you dealt with anything traumatic? For example my cousin committed suicide when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I found writing a letter about everything I felt guilty for and I put in a kids shoebox. I still to this day haven’t read it. It’s been over 4 years. I found a book by agapi stassinopoulos called Unbinding the Heart. Read half of it. …while pregnant with my 3rd child my mom passed away from a heart attack. I delivered my own baby in my bathroom and I swear my mom was there. I then read the other half of that book. It’s helped me a lot. Have also been through a lot of other deaths and betrayals. I was lucky to have some good friends and neighbours to help me through those times. But also the knowledge and wisdom through this book helped me through the dark times. 🙂

Regan June 30, 2015 - 12:18 pm

I wouldn’t say that I’ve suffered a traumatic event per se, but I was in a relationship with a narcissist sociopath who, at the end of our relationship made me feel useless when I never felt that way prior. I also had to suffer through his emotional abuse for 6-7 years after the end of the relationship because we have a child together. I hate to blame a person because I was prone to depression before this relationship, but he did a lot of damage to my self-esteem and sadly I haven’t been the same person since. Thankfully he is no longer in our lives anymore.

Anonymous June 29, 2015 - 7:05 pm

(((((((Regan))))) I’m also in depression/anxiety, with a nice dose of PTSD thrown in. I was invited to join a blog last summer – and blog I did, for about 6 months. But it got to the point where I would panic if I copied the code wrong into the GT form, or if I had to re-size a photo, or if I didn’t hear back from the winner in the allotted time, etc. I left the blog. But my life is still tough, as I am the sole caregiver to my mom and brother. I do take my meds, and see the psych, but….things are getting worse. I have a very cheery, funny, online persona, but that’s not me. I often find myself reading about Robin Williams, and I make sure I have a good strong belt here, (sort of an escape clause, you might say). I think all that’s kept me from using it is knowing that there’s no one to take care of my family if I go. So, between changing dressings, preparing meals, taking B/Ps, and so forth, I read blogs and enter sweeps. I have a deep secret in my past (just lately I found out it’s not quite as much of a secret as I thought), and I’m constantlyy reliving it in my mind, thinking “What if that hadn’t happened?” Useless, I know, and counter- productive, but that’s the way it is. Yeah, you’re right, it DOES suck. Big time.

Regan June 30, 2015 - 12:12 pm

I’m sorry that you’re having such a hard time. A friend of my husband suffers from PTSD and it’s serious business 🙁 My online persona is also different than my real one. It’s not a fake persona, but online I’m who I WANT to be – in reality I’m an introvert but online I am more outgoing.