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Best of the Web
No one can detail life with depression and other mental illnesses better than people who are actually going through it.
Here are 12 blogs that provide support, information, and a chance to connect with others.
The Splintered Mind
Site: The Splintered Mind
Who it’s for: Anyone interested in anxiety and ADHD coexisting with depression (i.e., a lot of people).
Why we like it: Douglas Cootey suffers from ADHD, depression, and “an annoying tic disorder,” and blogs eloquently and humorously several times a month. You can also follow his “Splintered Books Project,” as he tries to complete three books, including a picture book and a novel by December 23, 2010.
A Beautiful Revolution
Site: A Beautiful Revolution
Who it’s for: People interested in creativity and mental illness.
Why we like it: Hardly your typical blog, this widely recommended site is filled with Andre Jordan’s quirky doodles (which have also been published in books, If You’re Happy and You Know It and Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now). Text is limited but includes interviews with the author.
Site: Beyond Blue
Who it’s for: Anyonedepressed or notinterested in enhancing their life potential and ability to cope.
Why we like it: This “spiritual journey to mental health” provides advice everyone can benefit from. Frequent posts cover topics from eating disorders to relationships to caring for an elderly or ill relative. They even include inspirational passages.
Site: Postpartum Progress
Who it’s for: New moms and impending new moms and their supporters interested in postpartum mental-health issues.
Why we like it: Katherine Stone, who suffered from postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder in 2001, says hers is the “most widely read blog on postpartum depression and other mental illnesses related to childbirth.” The site is information-heavy and the posts are frequent. Still, the site is laid out in a way that is not overwhelming.
Site: Furious Seasons
Who it’s for: People who have personal mental-health issues or are simply interested in mental-illness issues in the U.S.
Why we like it: The posts aren’t as frequent as we might like. However, Philip Dawdy, a former staff writer for the Seattle Weekly, writes clearly and well, and his site is widely cited by other psych sites. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Dawdy offers both a personal perspective and a long view of mental health in America. A bit of a crusader (especially when it comes to the pharma industry), he says he “has become quite skeptical about where we are with mental health in this country.”
The Trouble With Spikol
Site: The Trouble With Spikol
Who it’s for: Anyone with a mental illness of any kind.
Why we like it: Former Philadelphia Weekly managing editor Liz Spikol writes about her own experiences with mental illness and has an insider’s view of the field as an employee of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. The blog covers it all: schizophrenia, bipolar, OCD, PTSD, SAD, even celebrities.
Bipolar and Me
Site: Bipolar and Me
Who it’s for: Younger people coping with mental illness.
Why we like it: This blog by “a bipolar girl trying to make sense of the world” has frequent blogs on what it’s like to cope with school, infuriating fathers, and mental illness all at the same time. She also covers the other infuriating topic: weight gain/loss and meds.
The Gallow’s Pole
Site: The Gallow’s Pole
Who it’s for: People suffering from both anxiety and depression.
Why we like it: This “first-person account of what life is like with the noose of mental illness around my neck” has the feeling of poetryin both words and images. Posts are frequent and intensely honest.
Fighting the Darkness
Who it’s for: Anyone suffering from depression and especially those trying to overcome the associated stigma.
Why we like it: Jamie, a wife and mother of two, has come out of the depression closet, so to speak, and wants her experiences to benefit others. She doesn’t mince words when it comes to describing her moods and relationships. But good times along with bad pepper the blog.
Site: Vicarious Therapy
Who it’s for: People interested in treatments for mental illness, including therapy.
Why we like it: This unidentified woman in Canada blogs about her experiences with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, including electroconvulsive therapy, talk therapy, and “kinesthetic meditation.” In fact, Kinesthetic Meditation is the name of her other blog, which describes ways she has found to calm herself.
The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive
Who it’s for: Anyone with bipolar disorder (especially younger adults) or who is interested in alcoholism.
Why we like it: Seaneen, originally from Northern Ireland and now living in London, is 24 and has “rapid cycling with psychotic features.” Her father died of liver failure. She includes posts about alcoholism and is generally unabashed about recording the ups, downs, back-and-forths of life with bipolar disorder.
If You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going
Who it’s for: People interested in knowing what life with bipolar disorder is really like.
Why we like it: Susan is another professional writer now blogging about her struggles with bipolar 1. Her frequent posts cover everything from her cat to waking up to rehashes of news items. She also chronicles some of her dad’s struggles.