El Camino Hospital’s library (Mountain View, CA) recently put an interesting article in their October newsletter, Health e-Tips.
For all you bibliophiles, read on:
Can Libraries Help Lift Depression and Alleviate Anxiety?
Bibliotherapy – or gaining therapeutic benefit from reading – gained popularity after WWII when soldiers found that reading was healing and helpful during their long periods of recuperation. Fast forward to the 21st century, bibliotherapy now encompasses most any way that information can be delivered: via books, through the Internet, and on CDs and DVDs. In the UK, a study was done on book prescribing to see how well the concept of “healthy reading” fit in as an adjunct to regular therapy for treating mild depression and anxiety or as a stand-alone therapy. The doctors and therapists who participated in the study had prescription pads specifically for recommending books and audiovisual materials alongside their prescriptions pads for pharmaceuticals. Doctors here in the U.S. have been known to write out prescriptions for their patients to pick up certain books or workbooks to assist with developing an arsenal of coping strategies to better manage depression and anxiety.