Art Therapy as a Treatment for Depression

Dealing with depression can be very hard. If you have ever experienced depression, then you know that doing even the most basic tasks is difficult, and leaves you feeling drained and empty. This applies to even the simplest tasks, such as getting out of the bed, making breakfast or even playing with your kids. Behavioral therapy and meds may be helpful for treating this illness, but they are not the only solution to relieve your symptoms. This is where art therapy can help. Art therapy is an effective treatment for releasing the symptoms of depression. Art therapy works by allowing you to explore your illness via the senses. Art therapy is a natural and harmless way to relieve your emotions and express your feelings, and this may also help alleviate symptoms of depression and similar mental issues. Learn how creating art can help you fight depression.

Types of Creative Therapy

Art therapy is actually a form of creative treatment. It can be done on your own or with a therapist. It can also be conducted in individual or group settings. All types of creative therapy have in common to help you find safe ways to express yourself and learn more about yourself. Besides art therapy that can involve painting and sculpting, there is also dance therapy, drama therapy, and music therapy. Drama therapy uses acting, improvisation, and storytelling to encourage self-discovery and expression, while music therapy can be used passively or actively. Passive music therapy involves listening to music, while active treatment requires playing or writing music to relieve anxiety and depression.

When Words Don’t Speak

Sometimes it may be difficult to express our feelings with worlds. In other cases, we have the right words to describe them, but it’s just hard to open up. In art therapy, words are not necessary. Although a blank canvas may also seem threatening, a simple act of drawing can help us to open up and release our emotions. The artwork we have created can be so powerful that it may help you solve a problem, initiate a conversation or just be a release for a depressing thought. Art can support you when words aren’t enough.

Understand Your Feelings

Besides facilitating communication between yourself and others, art can also help you understand what you’re really feeling. Perhaps, you think you went numb and are now incapable of feeling. Art is the heart of expression and emotion, and it can give you the capacity to feel again. Once you have made a part of yourself tangible and concrete, you will acknowledge that such an emotion existed much easier. Through art and creative expression, you give yourself the ability and speak about which is difficult to speak.

Creating Your Own Happiness

Creating or merely observing something beautiful releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure. The brain activity observed when we look at art is the same as the brain activity that represents love. It’s nice to know that something positive comes out from creating your own art. What we have mentioned in this article about treating depression through art is also scientifically proven.

How to Get Started?

As mentioned before, you don’t need the help of licensed art therapists in order to try art therapy. It is also important to know that creative treatments are not only for artists or artistically inclined people. In fact, art therapists say that most hard people to work with our artists because they are very judgmental about their art. Talent or the end product is not essential here, but rather the whole process of creating the piece. Although kids and teen seem to take part in art therapy most naturally, anyone can benefit from it. If you want to get started with art therapy, you can either your mental health provider for more information or check this short art therapy guide.

All you need to do is to choose your artistic media and be honest with yourself. Simply unleash your feelings on a piece of paper or lump of clay until your inner artists wake up. Many individuals who have tried this have discovered a passion for art and were rather surprised by the talent that comes out once their emotions are properly put into their artwork. Art therapy activities are offered in hospitals, outpatient centers, and also heavily encouraged in art galleries in museums.

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