This was inspired by a post called “Self Medicating,” written by Elle, who shares a blog with John called Mind Palaver: A Conversation on Mental Health. Many of you know that pre-diagnosis, I self-medicated with drugs and alcohol. But I think I’m still self-medicating, by reading books instead.
Reading sounds harmless enough, and many people read to escape. As a writer, I’m also a prolific reader. But when I’m depressed, all I do is lie on the sofa and read book after book after book, back-to-back. They’re usually a series of detective novels/crime fiction, so I can read one after another. I use an e-reader, so it’s super easy for me to buy the next book in the series. I don’t have to leave my house.
I read to escape reality. But is it keeping me from facing my depression? Am I not addressing my issues? I feel like I’m contributing to my depressive state (mostly lethargy) by reading, rather than trying to shower, change out of my pajamas, or whatever. But my episodes can be so bad that I can’t even peel the foil lid off a cup of yogurt, which leaves me feeling dim — even more useless than I already am.
So I read.
Do you self-medicate, even though you’re in treatment?