When writer’s block is a sign of depression?

This article will discuss how people may be Saying they have been experiencing writer’s block, but not be aware that it may be depression. For that the article will show what writer’s block is, and what may be causing it, to differentiate it from depression. The article will also show ways to handle this situation.

When is writer’s block a sign of depression?

Writer’s block can be a sign of depression when it affects the interest you may have in writing. And even though it is a common thing among writers, sometimes what some of them may not realize is that they are not going through a regular writer’s block, but depression. Sometimes thinking you are going through writer’s block can be a strategy to protect yourself from depression.

This can happen because thinking too much about what you will write can lead you to get stuck in a depressive mode. This happens because the same part of the brain that is used for complex thinking is also active when a person is depressed. 

This process is somewhat similar to the process of ruminating. If you feel stuck in a pattern of negative thinking, and can’t find other possibilities, it can lead you to feel depressed.

This doesn’t mean that any form of writing, and difficulty in doing so, will lead to depression. There is rather a positive aspect of writing, which can prevent people from becoming mentally ill. When you write spontaneously, you can externalize how you feel, and move past your negative thought patterns.

But when you are depressed, you may feel that writer’s block causes you to feel many of the symptoms of depression. You can feel like none of it is interesting or gives you any pleasure. And writing in those moments seems impossible. You may feel like there is no purpose in writing anymore, and all of your motivation may be gone. 

When what you are going through is depression and not writer’s block, you can feel drained, and as if you are just carrying your weight around, but not producing anything. And this can add a lot of suffering to how you feel. 

We are all a part of a society that is constantly demanding to produce more and more. And being unable to live up to that request can make you feel even more like a failure, leading you to compulsively try to make more, even though you feel you have reached your limit. And this can be even more detrimental to your mental health.

But in some situations, writer’s block is just a temporary reaction to trying to write. Let’s understand a little more about what writer’s block is.

What is writer’s block?

Although many writers were firm to say they didn’t believe writer’s block existed, such as William Faulkner who said “I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately, I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.” Some may beg to differ.

They may feel, sometimes that, as soon as they start to write, their body can start to shake a little, or they feel restless, and suddenly decide to do something else, like washing the dishes. 

In other cases, their brain will stop working, and they can feel confused. When experiencing writer’s block, a person may also start to feel incredibly sleepy as soon as they sit down to write. 

Sometimes, you can stand looking at that blank page and feel unable to put any idea on it. And finally, writer’s block can also lead you to doubt what you have written, causing you to re-write it several times. But if you are struggling with depression, and feel it has been hurting your writing, there is something you can do. 

How can I cope with writer’s block due to depression?

If you are going through depression, and you feel it is affecting your writing, you may want to do some things.

Set small goals and write them 

Create a routine for yourself, and in it trace small goals. You may have had a gigantic goal before, like writing 10 pages, but understand that with depression everything changes. You won’t be able to work the same way you did before. So instead of the 10 pages, you can set a one-page goal.

Something that will help your commitment to your goal is writing it up. So make yourself a routine, and put it on a schedule so you can have a better notion of what do to each day. You can also put the times for your medications and therapy in that, so you can keep a track of it all.

Take care of yourself 

Depression takes your motivation to do pretty much anything. And as you may want to only keep in bed, find ways to care for yourself. Meditation or Yoga can be great ways to do so. Meditation can be a great technique for when you want to center yourself.

It can help you focus more on your breathing, and at the moment than on the negative thoughts running through your head. As for Yoga, it is highly recommended for people with depression. As with all the other forms of exercising it can improve your mood, and reduce your stress levels. Yoga will also lead you to focus more on the moment.

Be honest about how you feel 

As much as it may be hard to admit, being honest about how you feel is the first step towards feeling better. So have people close to you that when they ask how-to feel, you can feel them for real how you feel. 

As a society, we have grown accustomed to saying everything is fine. And this lying can take up so much of your energy. As you allow yourself to tell the truth, you may feel you will have more energy left to direct to other things.

Get a timer 

If you have set yourself a schedule, you may want to determine how long you will focus on writing each time. It allows you to put this effort in while knowing it has time to end. If you want, you may even get yourself one of those silent timers, so if you are o a roll, and the time is done, it won’t disrupt you.

Look for professional help

When you are depressed it is always important to look for professional help. Find a therapist that you can talk to about what you are feeling. It will allow you to understand your emotions better, and analyze them in a way to help your creative process and your writer’s block. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): When writer’s block is a sign of depression? 

What can cause writer’s block? 

Writer’s block can be caused by situational matters, but it is usually related to a huge load of stress related to your writing. It can also happen if you feel you have no more fresh ideas, or even because you feel like there are too many of your emotions in your writing. It is important to care for this because it can lead you to lose interest in writing.

What are ways to handle writer’s block? 

If you are experiencing writer’s block, there are some things you can do. The first one is to try and understand why you are going through this. If it is connected to pressure, lack of confidence, or even if you are just too tired.

Try to think about your favorite books and writers, ask yourself what interests you in them, and what ideas you can get from them. It is also important, when dealing with writer’s block, to keep a sense of routine, and keep writing, even if it comes out badly at first.

You may want to find another angle to what you are writing, or even focus on writing something else. But if writing feels too hard, it may be important to take some time away, and focus on other things.

When do people get writing anxiety?

Writing anxiety is another name given to writer’s block. It is a fearful, and anxious feeling the person may get when they are going to write. It is a situational condition that can go on for some time.

It can happen when the person is changing their style of writing and needs to adjust to it. For example, a person may have always written short stories, and when they start to write a novel, they may have trouble finding the words, and how to express themselves in that form of writing. 

One can also experience writing anxiety when they are writing for people that have been overly critical in the past. Which can lead them to feel insecure, the same way as when they remember old criticism they received in the past.

People may also experience writer’s anxiety when they feel they need to rush in their writing. Not having enough time to do it can make them anxious, in the same way, that not having too much planning or structure to write.

Writing about something that doesn’t speak up to them is also something that can make the person anxious. They may not get the sense of why they are writing, and it can lead them to question their life goals.

What are the most common symptoms of depression? 

Depression can make you feel intense sadness and emptiness. It can also make you lose interest in doing things, even what you love. It can make you feel like you lost your purpose, and that you have a lot less energy.

It leaves you feeling fatigued, guilty, ashamed, and more irritable. Causes you to isolate yourself from others, and to have trouble focusing. Depression makes your self-esteem and sense of self-worth go down and causes you to experience crying spells.

It changes your sleep and eating pattern, and to some people, it can lead to self-harm, and even thoughts of death, and suicidal thoughts.

Does depression have a cure?

No, depression doesn’t have a cure. Rather than that, it is said that depression goes into remission. That is because it is impossible to say a person will never develop depression again after they feel better.

But when they do, they will be able to experience joy again and regain control of their lives and emotions. They will also go back to feeling pleasure in things, that depression took out of them.


This article explained how people may confuse writer’s block and depression. For that, the article explained what a common writer’s block may feel like, and how it can feel like depression. Aside from that, the article explained what are ways to cope with depression to reduce the impact it will have on your writing.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below. 



Writer’s Block and Depression: Why Writers Need to “Fill the Well”


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