Much has been made of research by Pennebaker claiming people’s immune systems were working better after they had written an account of some past trauma.However Fiona Sampson advises poets to keep the Samaritan’s phone number close at hand, [Poetry the Expert Guide]
Writing did not help Sylvia Plath’s immune system for she suffered repeated attacks of flu culminating in her severe depression during in the months she was living alone with her two infants.She wrote her best poetry then but it did not save her.Could it have harmed her?
Well,it’s hard to prove these kinds of hypotheses.Pennbaker’s sample was not random as far as I know.
I have seen articles claiming writing poetry in form is more helpful than modern poetry which to many of us does not seem like poetry at all… like modern music.
Listening to Bach might soothe us but late 20th century classical music may not help you if you feel depressed unless you bought a tambourine and used it to accompany the music!It’s exercise!
I find that whe I am full of emotion the poems seem better but I do not write about past traumas in them… emotions are energy so that can be transmuted into producing something…that’s why exercise helps us too when we feel low or anxious.
Sometimes writing a journal in the evening can ge helpful or even making a little video.Sometimes I feel too tired to write but talking is easier.On the other hand I found seeing myself like that gave me a strange feeling.
I learned that I over-explain things,being too scrupulous
to get an exactness to my sentences which is only appropriate in mathematics.And being very scrupulous is painful.
I was surprised to see I could talk into a mike like that or even hum… and that might help one when stressed.
Though being older and not looking so good is a surprise at first.
All I would say is,do not send hasty letters and emails when you feel bad.Once words are sent they cannot be taken back,alas.Anf with email it is too easy.
Some folk say they feel better after writing letters attacking someone but in my mind that’s immoral.You might feel better after taking heroin but don’t keep on!
I never took any and see what I’m like.
The Samaritans phone number is quite like M and S ‘s so beware!Don’t ask for the Food Department or lingerie at the Samaritans!
I find cleaning out drawers is therapeutic.