Leisure in coping with depression

Galit Nimrod, Douglas A. Kleiber, Liza Berdychevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


This article explores how people with depression perceive and use leisure in coping with their illness. The study applied a netnography approach and was based on data from 25 online depression communities. The findings suggest that people with depression perceive leisure as a useful coping resource. Yet, they seem to be trapped in vicious circles. The more depressed they feel, the less they are able to participate in leisure activities and benefit from such involvement, and the less involved they are, the more depressed they become. Feeling more depressed puts them at risk of resorting to maladaptive forms of coping, which, in turn, exacerbate the depression. The strategies members discuss suggest a variety of alternatives for ameliorating these frustrating dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-449
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Constraint negotiation
  • Coping strategies
  • Mental illness
  • Online ethnography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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