“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” - John Green, The Fault In Our Stars
If you’ve ever felt depressed, and have turned to a book to help you feel better, you’re not alone, or weird. You’re actually doing exactly what needs to be done to help your mental health.
According to an interesting study, reading is good for your mental health. And if you haven’t been reading, then this is reason enough for you to start.
In a report published by NewsOk, it was revealed that “the therapeutic use of books and poetry to help treat anything from the ups and downs of life to diagnosable conditions like depression,” is referred to as Bibliotherapy.
Books have a way of transporting us. Ever felt better after you’ve read a fulfilling book - be it about an adventure into some dark and magical land, or a love story wrot with passion and drama? It’s because stories are a form of escape like no other. It’s not like a TV series, or music. It’s text and urges you to imagine things that aren’t happening in real life.
It’s the process of immersion; being so deeply and passionately involved in the written word to a point that catapults into some sort of whirlwind of its own; isn’t that a form of therapy?
“It’s a testament to the power of reading, which we all believe in here,” says Sue Wilkinson, a spokeswoman for The Reading Agency, an organization that provides bibliotherapy for teens. “It’s helpful because no matter what you’re going through or where you are, you can go and get a book without having to make any statement about yourself.”
According to information released by The Reading Agency, it has been found that “90 percent of people who borrowed ‘prescribed’ books based on their conditions said they helped and 85 percent said the books helped their symptoms feel manageable”.
Further elaborating on how bibliotherapy works, Linda Barnes, President, International Federation of Biblio and Poetry, said, “it’s not about looking for the one, right answer. It’s about inviting people to see their own lives in literature to heal.”
For something that’s so easily immersive and comes without the side effects of ever overdosing, reading really could be the outlet every mentally ill person might need to at least try out, even if it’s not something they would readily opt for.
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