Being depressed isn’t a great place to be. In my [Angela] personal experience, I didn’t even know I was depressed. One morning I woke up and it hit me. Over the course of two or three years dating back to a traumatic experience, I had slowly:
- closed myself off from the world
- detached from friend groups and the people I loved
- lost motivation for everything
I had no passion for anything. Just wrapped up in coping mechanisms and addiction. I remember watching a YouTube video about happiness. Then I asked myself when was the last time I was genuinely happy. I couldn’t remember, and then reality hit.
It took many months to figure out what was wrong. Then, I was left with these questions:
- How was I going to get back?
- How do I handle my depression and move forward?
Healing Power of art therapy for depression
I didn’t want medication. I tried to naturally bring myself back. That’s when I found art therapy for depression.
Being Able to Express Yourself
One of the biggest problems I faced going through my depression: being unable to express how I felt. I could feel all these intense emotions that seemed to be changing every day. Heck, sometimes even every hour, but I could never find the words to describe it.
It just felt like this big, murky puddle of emotion that was cloudy and foggy. However, through art therapy, I found a way to put my thoughts, feelings, and emotions on paper. Or canvas, in this case.
If I was feeling angry, I could express that through aggressive, releasing painting, and if I was calm and still, I could reflect that through pencil drawings and doodles. This was a great way of helping me understand myself and teaching myself methods for then expressing myself and how I felt.
You Get to Discover Yourself
A big part of art therapy is actually getting some kind of understanding and clarity in your life about who you are and how you feel. Sometimes, it’s confusing to understand what is going on in our minds but having a chance to be creative means you get the opportunity to get it out of you, thus giving you a chance to understand yourself.
For example, you might feel strange and not really sure what the problem is, but when you start going into it with a professional therapist and seeing what comes out, then you get a chance to shine a light on that area of your life.
If you’re going through something in your life, then going through the art therapy journey is a way to help understand and release that part of you, especially if it’s a deep or traumatic experience.
It Was a Release
By far, the greatest benefit of art therapy is the release you’ll get from it. Sure, it may take a session or two to really get into (so make sure you’re giving yourself some time to relax into it), but once you do, man, does it feel good.
Whether you have a whole week of feeling okay or feeling really depressed, an art therapy session is a great way to get it all out of your mind and body, onto an external piece that you can get rid of, keep, understand, examine, or do whatever you want with.
Instead of being controlled by your emotions, thoughts, and feelings, this is a chance to get it out of you and then take back control of your life.
This is great for releasing any stress or trapped emotions. It can be a great way to release negative effects a traumatic situation. It provides more control over your emotions. You can be a more calm, centered, and peaceful version of yourself.
About the Writer: Angela J. Bryant is a successful writer and editor at Nursing assignments and Gum Essays. She specializes in topics related to social media, business, and health. Her motto is “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” and strives to share awareness on mental health and releasing the taboos surrounding it.