FEATURE: ‘Blogging helped my depression’

Blogger Carol Smith and daughter Megan enjoying some summer sunshine. Photo: SG140611-120TW

Blogger Carol Smith and daughter Megan enjoying some summer sunshine. Photo: SG140611-120TW

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‘HI, my name is Carol and I have depression’ was the title of the blog that caught the attention of a lot of online browsers and bloggers.

The blog was Carol Smith’s personal experience of depression, and timed to coincide with Depression Awareness Week, but it recalled the difficulties she experienced with sleeping and the loss of motivation that resulted in her having to make an effort to get dressed in the morning.

People read the blog and it obviously touched a nerve because many of them nominated it for the Mum and Dad (MAD) Blog Awards, which celebrate the best blogs written by British parents. Carol, mother to two-year-old Megan, has reached the finals of the awards scheme – for the second year in a row – and should find out in September whether she is the overall winner in the Best Post of the Year category.

Carol’s blog, www.dancewithoutsleeping.co.uk, takes the form of an online personal diary, and comes a couple of years after she started sharing the ups and downs of parenting online on her New Mum blogspot on Brit Mums when Megan was just 12 weeks old.

Carol, who lives in Gamyln Close in Spalding with partner James, would describe her experiences and Megan’s development, and explains: “I didn’t know anyone in Spalding.

“I moved here with James and when I had Megan it was harder because I didn’t know any other mums, I didn’t drive, I had had a C-Section and it was winter time, and it was nice to go online and write a diary of her progress.”

The blogs were made up of the stuff that many of us might find boring – weight gains, first smiles – but Carol explains that the online community was important to her because she could share any problems and within five minutes would have two people reassuring her that what she was experiencing was normal and nothing to worry about.

Six months later Carol launched New Mummys Tips, with money-saving advice for other parents, and, once product manufacturers realised the influence of the blogspot, product reviews. She has also launched Parent Panel, with parents writing product reviews and companies advertising their products on her blogspot, turning it into a paid job for Carol.

Once Megan was 2, Carol stopped writing on New Mum and started the personal blog Dance Without Sleeping, based on a song title, and recounting her experience with depression since her teenage years. Carol says now she has good and bad times, only taking medication when she feels she has to.

There are prizes for the winning blogger in her category, but Carol says for her it’s not about the awards, but about the nomination.

She says: “There are so many more blogs now than when I started and I thought there would be no way that I would even be in with a chance and when I saw the nomination I was overwhelmed.

“You think you are the only person who feels like that but more and more people are now talking about depression.”