People with depression often suffer from severe social seclusion, and the lack of an agreed upon etiology for depression makes it difficult to satisfactorily narrate and "ritually control" it. Focusing on blogs by women with major depression, I delineate the ways in which bloggers publicly express and collaboratively reconstruct their depression narratives. Specifically, using thematic analysis, I argue that depression blogs uniquely bridge between the seclusion that characterizes depression and the exposure offered in blogs, and thus offer people a rare opportunity to publicly share very intimate depression narratives, form communal bonds with their readers, and collaboratively revise their narratives. Depression blogs are also shown to function as "narrative sandboxes" - protected spaces in which bloggers can temporarily and experimentally add or remove different sections from their illness narratives, assess the compatibility of different cultural frameworks, and interchangeably use various metaphors, in an attempt to satisfactorily explain depression.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s).
- mental health and illness
- narrative inquiry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health