Reading is an essential daily activity for most people around the world. There are several reasons for which people like to pick a book to read. Some people read for pleasure, as part of an academic requirement or to while away time.
But did you know that books can be a source of therapy and healing to people suffering from anxiety, depression substance abuse, and eating disorder and relationship issues?
Some specialists use it as an adjunct treatment process to help people suffering from certain emotionally related issues to gain emotional sustenance. This type of treatment is referred to as bibliotherapy.
Its aim is to use literature to help improve one’s life through books as a source of providing information, support, and guidance in the form of reading.
According to Ceridwen Dovey, in her article in the New Yorker, titled Can Reading Make You Happier? “Bibliotherapy is a very broad term for the ancient practise of encouraging reading for therapeutic effect”.
She further states that “The first use of the term is usually dated to a jaunty 1916 article in The Atlantic Monthly, “A Literary Clinic.” In it, the author describes stumbling upon a “bibliographic institute” run by an acquaintance, Bagster, in the basement of his church, from where he dispenses reading recommendations with healing value.’’
In the same article, she further states that “A book may be a stimulant or a sedative or an irritant or a soporific. The point is that it must do something to you, and you ought to know what it is. A book may be of the nature of soothing syrup or it may be of the nature of a mustard plaster.”
From personal experience, I have often sought solace in books every time I felt uninspired or sad about events beyond my control. Interestingly I often bounce back to my old self each time I indulge in a good book.
It is important to note that, people should first seek professional help before they embark on bibliotherapy. It will be unwise to self-diagnose yourself with any of these emotionally related issues.
If it turns out you have been prescribed books as part of a healing and therapeutic process, then it is my hope you find all the happiness you deserve in a good book.
Also for people who simply want to stay inspired, you could also add reading to your daily activities. This may sound funny, but you might find the motivation you have been clamouring for in a book.