Art as Therapy
Art As Therapy
Hello, my creative friends! I wanted to shoot a follow up to my previous film about my struggle with mental illness. This topic was requested.
My first disclaimer is that I am not an Art Therapist. My educational background is a Masters in Art Education and a Bachelor's in Illustration. I am offering my insight as a person who has Manic Depression and uses art to help manage my illness.
All through my life gravitated to art making. Whether it was for pleasure or study. Art has become a way in which I interact with the world. I was diagnosed with manic depression when I was about 21. However, it was prevalent in the early ages of 11/12. I didn't know then what was happening to me. Why I was so depressed or so high. Now in my early 30s, I understand my illness and its effect on my functioning. I know my triggers for depression, however, I'm still trying to understand my mania.
As an adolescent, not know that I had a mental illness, used my art making to deal with my emotions and elevated states. I would turn to my sketchbook or canvas to process what I was going through. It was literally pulling out my emotions and projecting it onto a surface. I was able to process the indescribable and get it out of me. It was a release. Working on a series of sketches and paintings, I was then able to move past my experience and be ok. Traumas and stressors will push me into a deep depression and art is always there to help me.
I am not saying that art by itself is the only way to deal with mental illness. Art should be a part of a person’s treatment. I truly believe that people will mental health issues would benefit greatly from implementing art making into their daily lives. If you feel like you may need help, get in contact with your primary care physician. She or he can then direct you to the right care. I have been without treatment for years and it's a miserable way to live. Manic Depression or any mental illness, is not something you can “beat” or ignore. It will only chip away at you if you allow it to go untreated.
I hope you learned something from this video and that it will guide you to making positive and inspiring changes in your life. You are not alone and don't have to suffer so. Grab a sketchbook, coloring book or canvas and go make some art!
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