Artworks are a creative representation of one’s thought process and are used to express how one feels, his/her state of mind, how he/she perceives the world, etc. Art nowadays is not just a piece of creativity that is exhibited to gather public attention; instead, it is now being used to serve numerous other purposes. One of these purposes is treating and creating awareness about mental illnesses and mental disorders.
Mental illness, which has been a matter of concern for the United States owing to its prevalence, especially depression and anxiety disorders, has been accepted by many as a serious condition. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately one in five adults is diagnosed with some form of mental illness in a given year in the U.S.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), gender determines the way a mental disorder affects a person. In fact, as far as mental disorders are concerned, women predominate in their occurrence. Therefore, an alliance of government organizations has taken an initiative to observe the ongoing week – May 14 to 20, 2017 – as the National Women’s Health Week. The purpose behind this is to encourage women to give priority to their well-being by creating awareness about the steps that can be taken to improve overall health and to inspire them to incorporate some essential preventive measures in everyday life.
Art as an expression of mental illness
The world of art has undergone a revolution since the Renaissance. It has evolved in such a way that it has helped art and artists get their due in the society. People, in general, have widened their horizons and have started using art to express their thoughts about anything and everything, including mental illnesses.
Alicia Moreland, 31, of Willoughby, Ohio who is dealing with bipolar disorder (BD), took part in the ongoing 26th annual “Expressions of Recovery” show at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor. She has used her artwork as a representation of both her creativity and her psychiatric condition.
Chuckdrawsthings – a British webcomic artist dealing with depression and anxiety – has used pigeon caricatures to deliver thought-provoking messages on mental illnesses. Her works are an attempt to form a connection between like-minded individuals and offering them a sigh of relief by portraying that feelings similar to theirs aren’t so offensive.
Yasaman Gheidi – a 27-year-old makeup artist from Vancouver, Canada, known online as lilmoonchildd – launched a social media campaign titled “Inside Out Challenge” in January 2017. Through this ongoing campaign, Gheidi has been inviting participants dealing with some form of mental illness to exemplify how it makes them feel using makeup.
Art therapy to treat mental illnesses
Medications are certainly the proven way to help one recover from his/her mental illness, such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or BD. But, opting for an unconventional way to treat one’s mental illness is a new trend. And, one of these unconventional method is art therapy.
Art therapy makes use of painting, clay work and digital media to help those who have problems putting their pain into words. People get an opportunity to express their inner experiences, develop awareness and support personal change. Along with this, art therapy can serve a number of other purposes, such as:
- Stress reduction
- Managing behavior
- Developing interpersonal skills
- Increase self-esteem
- Increase self-awareness
- Emotional difficulties
- Help deal with mental health issues, such as depression, GAD, BD, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc.
- Cognitive problems
- Neurological problems
Art therapy to enable speedy recovery
Getting oneself involved in one form of art or the other can help him/her improve relationships, reduce distractions, and develop better understanding and perspective towards various things in life. A combination of art therapy along with other forms of treatment, such as medications, counselling sessions and therapies can enable speedy recovery of a person with mental illness.
If a loved one is suffering from depression, anxiety or any other mental illness, Sovereign Health can help. To know more about our depression treatment centers in California and anxiety treatment centers in California, call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with one of our experts to know about our reputed centers mental health treatment in California and other parts of the U.S.