Sunday, September 18, 2011

Therapeutic Blogging

Awhile back, I participated in a health bloggers study conducted by two individuals from University of Arizona and Michigan State University.

I had completely forgotten about the study until yesterday when I received an executive summary from the study, which was brief but interesting.

The authors concluded the summary by saying, "Across the two studies, the findings appear to suggest that bloggers who write about their experiences with health conditions can obtain benefits, such as increased feelings of support and decreased uncertainty about health. Despite the findings from our two studies, we do not yet feel that there is enough research to make any concrete recommendations about health blogging. We would not recommend blogging any more or less frequently or trying to write any specific types of words because of the results from the project. The results of the two studies are based on trends and may or may not hold for specific individual participants. That said, we believe that blogging about health has the potential to be a valuable and rewarding experience."

I agree. Wholeheartedly, for a zillion reasons, all of which I shared in the study. Blogging has provided several positive influences in my life: in plunking out my posts every day, I am motivated to learn and share about this disease. My blog has provided a connection with a whole world of sjoggies, both across the internet and personally.

What I think the researchers missed in their conclusions, however, is the satisfaction that one gets from feeling as though one has accomplished something worthwhile. I am a nurse at my core. When this disease forced me to quit working, it left a gaping hole in my sense of self worth. I know, I know - I'm more than my occupation. That's fodder for an encyclopedia's worth of blog posts.

But when I began blogging and actually had a few readers, I began to feel somewhat less pathetic and useless.

I look forward to sitting down in front of my laptop and pondering each day's post. When John and I discuss the upcoming day's events, I love being able to say that I have a commitment. A deadline. Self-imposed, I know. And knowing that I can blithely inform readers that I won't be posting for awhile reduces any anxiety that these deadlines may have.

My sidebar contains several links to other sjoggie bloggers. Care to join our ranks? Just head over to any of the free blogging platforms such as Blogger or Typepad. Sign up, choose a format, and next thing you know, you'll be sharing your experiences with the world. If you have a blog that you would like listed on my sidebar, just let me know and I'll review it.

As we all know, Sjogren's syndrome awareness is sorely lacking. So by putting your experiences with autoimmune disease out there, you're not only helping yourself deal with Sjogren's syndrome, you're helping to fill a much needed void in autoimmune information.

Go get 'em, sjoggies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have Sjorgen's (and a newborn!) and am a follower of your blogs. Thanks so much for the inspiration. I am trying to live a healthy lifestyle and tell myself everyday that a poor food choice will not taste nearly as good as spending time with my daughter in the future.