I regularly hear this expressed in various ways from my clients after experiencing the wonderful healing journey that is experienced through art and art therapy.
Depression is often triggered by trauma, significant life changes, divorce or relationship troubles, death of a loved one, losing a job, failing at something we have strived to succeed at. These are but a few reasons, and then there are the people that suffer with depression that cannot pinpoint an event or something that triggered it but seem to one day or over a period of time lose energy, lose the will to interact with family and friends, or to attend activities and hobbies that we formerly enjoyed.
Art therapy with a qualified practitioner, allows us to explore that which we normally keep hidden, or have difficulty expressing with language. It’s interesting that simply starting a drawing or doodle can trigger emotions and thoughts that are new and previously unexplored in the therapy setting or in our daily lives.
Often my clients will be happily painting or drawing away in one of my workshops and suddenly they will see something in their creation that triggers an emotion or thought that makes them sit back and take pause.
At this point it is up to the art therapist to determine the correct mode of engagement with the client and there are various ways that this can occur.
Time and time again I see my clients express that the process of art creation in some way frees them from their thoughts and this then can become quite addictive! This is because the neural pathways in our brain are experiencing pleasure at the process of creation and this so desired when we grapple with depression.
So I encourage you, that if you are feeling any of the symptoms of depression to start to explore the activity of creating arts and crafts, and make sure that you speak to a professional about the depression if you have not already done so.