Updated: May 2, 2019
Writing in a journal can be therapeutic, but it's hard to know where to start. Do you free write about your day, your week, how you feel, etc.? You could... or you could use journal prompts specific to your mental health, disorder symptoms, and self-care habits that encourage you to seek wellness and self-awareness!
Depression can be hard to understand. When I first noticed my symptoms I had no idea that I had clinical depression, or was even feeling depressed! The thing is, when you are depressed all you think about is being depressed. That may seem simple and even stupid, but if you feel helpless and numb chances are you want to not feel that way.
Another way to put it: it sucks to be depressed for a few weeks and it sucks to be depressed for years- everyone who experiences depression appreciates some alleviation or form of help.
What is depression?
"Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks."
-National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Now on Rose-Minded you'll find mental health journal guides for specific mental health disorders. Guided journals lead to self-discovery and take the confusion out of starting to journal (like not knowing where to start). The prompts cover topics like symptoms and self-care to guide you through your mind and behavior to health and happiness!
The prompts are divided to cover different areas for those who still struggle with understanding their depression and understanding themselves. Keeping a journal is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself, especially when you reflect on previous entries. Try to go back every couple weeks or months to read old entries and see how you've progressed since then. Maybe you've gotten better... maybe you've gotten worse, but you'll be able to start noticing patterns to help you navigate your mental health disorder(s) and well-being.
As the writer behind Rose-Minded, I have depression, studied treatments for depression in college, and spoken with dozens of mental health patients about what helps with their depression. Patients talked to me about their mental illnesses when I volunteered at a mental health association crisis line and worked as a behavior therapist. Mental health and psychology are my passions (along with writing! lol).
Mental Health Journal Prompts for Depression
Use the following prompts from the journal guide to improve your mental health and understand your mind and its patterns. If you're a beginner with bullet journals try looking on Pinterest for some good bullet journal ideas! If you're not into bullet journaling, no worries. Include your response to the journal prompt as a regular entry in your notebook, journal, Google Docs, or random piece of paper laying around. Self-awareness is worth it!
How do your emotions motivate you? How do they get in the way of things you want/need to do?
Do other people have an impact on your emotions? Who? Do they have a bigger impact than you?
What have been some strong emotions in your life recently?
Make a list of people in your life you are grateful for. It could be long, it could be short, and it could be continuously growing.
Make a list of things in your life you sometimes have trouble feeling grateful for. Leave a space below each response in your list, then answer 'why' you may have trouble feeling this way after some self-reflection.
Describe why you are grateful for a special opportunity you have received.
For the rest of the mental health journal prompts designed to aid the recovery of those struggling with depression or episodes of depressive moods, check out the Mental Health Journal Guide for Depression.
A journal guide is an important factor in the process of discovering your own strengths and weaknesses, which is also the first step to building on strengths and working on weaknesses. Reflect each week on previous weeks' journal entries and you'll learn more about yourself and your depression as you progress through the guided journal prompts over the year.
Before you can transform yourself (or just begin your journey to authentic happiness) you must know where to look for gratitude, how to be emotionally intelligent, how to recognize and approach your depressive signs and symptoms, and how to take care of yourself in a way that works best for you.
Note: This journal guide shouldn't replace professional treatment. It should be used as a helpful aid in the improvement of depression symptoms, happiness, and recovery.
Read more about the guided mental health journal for depression, here.