Art Therapy Fights Depression

Have you ever wondered whether Art Therapy fights Depression?



On the other hand, Art Therapy fights depression in building the self-esteem of the person. Creating something completely original means that it will not be compared to standards set by pioneers in the field. Thus, the depressed person knows that he can freely express himself, without the fear of being judged on the outcome.

Compared to Talk Therapy, which makes the depressed person speak up about his feelings, Art Therapy fights depression by allowing him to express himself in a way that not only makes him feel better, but also proud of the result! This is the biggest fight to be won during treatment. Let’s have a look at how Art Therapy fights depression.

Talk Therapy can be a quite time-consuming process, as the person often feels uncomfortable or doubtful about letting out. This makes him feel ashamed in front of the therapist.


Unlike Maths, there is no correct answer in Art.Those who are buried under more serious levels of depression are afraid in expressing themselves on paper. What if someone comes across their works and finds out their dark secrets?
In that case, they can create temporary Art.
Buddhists create intricate sand mandalas that are intentionally washed away after completion. These creations are a meditation on life’s impermanence.

Similarly, people in depression can draw on the sand, with chalk, or water to create temporary Art.

Afterall, the most important is the process, not the final result.

Creative expression (painting, woodworking, sculpturing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, sewing, writing and scrapbooking) has been proven to release a chemical associated with the brain’s “feel good” center.

For instance, when one creates something which receives admiration from others, the “I did that” feeling surges which boosts the neurotransmitter, Dopamine (the motivation molecule). This is what medications prescribed to depressed people are designed to do!

Some patients start by adult colouring books - a trend recently set by France, the number-one country in the consumption of antidepressants. Some patients prefer directing an art therapist to do the work for them, which also makes them feel a sense of power.

Doctor Judith Paice (director of the Cancer Pain Programme at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago) states that giving Art Therapy to Cancer patients helps providing a distraction to them, so that they can focus on something positive instead of their health. The average person has 60,000 thoughts a day and 95% of them are exactly the same day in, day out. When one allows himself to let his thoughts flow, the mind starts focusing on other things besides the usual worries.
He has been variously called the father of palaeontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter and tank, Leonardo da Vinci epitomised the Renaissance humanist ideal. (quoted from Wikipedia)

Contrary to the old belief that,

“Executing arts require only half part of the brain,”

latest scientific research are throwing light on what Leonardo da Vinci said,

“Painting embraces all the ten functions of the eye (darkness, light, body and color, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest).”

Neuroimaging is now backing up the fact that Art lessons at school make children better students for life. Art and Music lessons increase blood flow to the brain, IQ, memory skills and attention.

Professor Semir Zeki (neurobiologist at the University College London) discovered that simply the act of viewing artworks triggers a surge of Dopamine in the body.
Another recent suprising discovery is that Art reduces the level of Cortisol (stress hormone) in the body! While Art doesn’t cure any diseases, it surely helps whatever ails you.
Creating Art isn’t only for talented ones, or for those who are born with its innate ability. Art is for everyone! Just like everyone has a creative side! Of course, we cannot go to an Art gallery every day. But with the latest Art Apps freely available, one can admire artworks from all over the world and exchange ideas on a daily basis.

Albert Einstein said,

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

So, go ahead, and let your creative side have some fun!


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4 thoughts on “Art Therapy Fights Depression

  1. Completely agree, art has a certain way of making one happy. It allows you to express your emotions into a piece of art and triggers your “feel good” part of the brain. I find it to ve soothing.

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