April 6, 2009
Posted: 11:07 PM ET
By Justin Piehowski/minnpost.com
For years, doctors have suggested that patients struggling with depression turn to journals to write about their feelings...[consider] the Web as a 21st century version of a diary that many of us kept under our pillow. The difference, of course, is that this it is wide-open for the world to read.
Grohol started the first large-scaleonline mental health self-help support community and social network in 1996 and helped bring one of the first online therapy clinics to popularity in 2000.
Writing about very personal experiences and feelings has always drawn readers on the Web. Celebrated blogger Heather Armstrong — she has been called the most popular personal blogger on the Internet — takes this approach at Dooce.com and recently published her memoir, "It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita,"
Grohol said that blogging can be a healthy form of expression because it mimics the therapy process in some ways.
People are able to receive feedback and support on their feelings through comments, much like a therapist would offer a patient. And just like advice from a therapist, bloggers will often tune into the comments that feel right to them and reject the ones that don't.
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