Writing Is My Therapy


Writing has always been an important part of my life. I remember filling notebook after notebook with reams of ideas and stories as a kid. Writing was my escape. As I got older I continued to write and it became a release from the depression that had suddenly manifested into my life. I even decided to go to University to study creative writing.

As an adult, I’ve had many struggles with mental illness. The symptoms of bipolar ran my life and my attempts to control the highs and lows were in vain.

I began to write, but this time, it began as a journal. I’d never kept a diary before. I just started to write, and soon everything was laid out. How much I’d been struggling, how guilty, helpless and ashamed I felt. It helped me immensely. I felt a release to see all these thoughts that I’d bottled up committed to paper.

Writing became my own private therapy.

I’ve had therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) a couple of times. The first time round it really helped. I went to the sessions to help me deal with panic attacks. I learnt some important techniques and a new way of thinking about the experience. I use them to help me deal with nighttime panic attacks . The panic attacks subsided afterwards, and now I very rarely have one, maybe only once a year.

My second experience of CBT was not so positive. It wasn’t long after I’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was offered group therapy and wanting to know more about the condition, and share experiences with others, I said yes. The course didn’t help. It was basic, and didn’t teach me anything new about the condition. There was never any time to share our experiences. I still felt alone.

I continued to write, but now I wanted to share what I’d written. I started a blog, this blog. Although now I don’t always write about my personal experiences, writing still helps me.

It gives me focus and a sense of purpose when I’m depressed. It helps me to stay calm and concentrate when I’m manic. It drowns out the voices and helps me process the experience when I’m psychotic.

I’m not in therapy at moment. A lack of therapeutic styles on offer from the NHS means I’d have to seek private therapy. I can’t afford to do that, so my option is talking therapies; that didn’t go well last time

So for now writing will have to be my therapy. I’m sort of ok with that. I’m annoyed that I can’t access actual therapy, but at least I’ve found something in my life that helps me.


4 thoughts on “Writing Is My Therapy

  1. Jess @theBraveandStrong.com

    Beautiful post, Katie! I 100% know what you mean when you say writing is a form of therapy for you. It is such a valuable way to organise our thoughts and get them out of our head. Sometimes I’ve been surprised at what’s come out of my head, actually…and I always feel better once it’s out, ahaha.

    I totally agree when you say it gives a sense of purpose, as well. For me, that’s been the main benefit of writing for my blog and learning blog management stuff. It really had made me feel like I’m doing something every day with intention and meaning. And it’s made me feel really productive, as well. I think that’s why so many of us folk with mental illnesses find blogging so valuable. Or, maybe that’s just me??

    Anyway, thanks for this post!!


  2. Deserae

    Journaling with writing my thoughts…I call brain vomit pages, or zentangle or drawing has been a help to me. About 7 years ago I was upset at my adult daughter who treats her brothers like only she matters. It was Christmas and she was just so mean. I had last my patience so I told my husband I was tapping out. Everyone had gone to bed except my husband. I wrote in my journal how disappointed I was in my daughter. That entry wasn’t very nice. Upset still I went to the gym at midnight. The next morning I learned that my daughter went in my room found my journal and read it. I have apologized to her that her feelings were hurt and expressed to her and my husband that it’s not OK to violate my personal thoughts that I write down. My daughter doesn’t have any relationship with me anymore. And my husband…well he pointed out to me that what I wrote was mean and walked away.
    I did not journal for a couple of years after that.


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