“Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.” – Amy Lowell, Poet

Art Can Help In Healing Depression

image of paint brush as a method for healing depression

If you were to rate your mental health right now, would you give it 5 stars? Are you able to freely express your feelings whenever you like? Apparently, some seniors underestimate the power of expression, and expressing yourself is a unique way to keep depression at bay. Healing depression can be accomplished.  But you must work at it.

Depression can be overcome, but with difficulty. Often time heals all ills. If depression is a life-long disorder, it will be much more difficult to overcome. As a depressive disorder, depression can lead to many emotional and physical problems. The sooner one comes out of his or her depression, the fewer long-lasting problems that will be associated with it.

The National Institute of Mental Health considers depression to be a disease and a major public health problem in seniors. In addition, a National Mental Health Association survey suggested that 68% of adults 65 years and older have little knowledge, if any, about depression; while 58% of these people also believe that depression is simply a “normal” state as people get older.

The truth is…Depression is not a normal part of aging.

It is not something that you should have to deal with for the rest of your life. It can and must be overcome. From a medical perspective, depression sometimes occurs along with certain medical illnesses or disabilities. It might also begin to develop after a major life-changing experience. This includes if you have lost a spouse, if you are coping with a physical disability, or if you are moving to a senior home. All these may contribute to depression, especially when you don’t have an outlet to express your emotions.

Some senior adults have a difficult time expressing themselves. For one, there could be no one to express their feelings with. Secondly, they really aren’t aware of the empowerment self-expression brings. Lastly, their feelings could be too painful to verbalize. These are but a few of the causes for the beginning of depression.

There are many ways to pull out of a “funk” and it can be done. Having friends to talk to is always a help. However, sometimes these friends do more harm than good. A professional may be a better choice.

There is no stigma to therapy the way it was years ago. It is much more accepted today than it was in the past. We often spend a few years going thru adolescence and then the rest of our lives trying to overcome our feelings established at that time. Our parents and family could have done everything right but we feel it was all wrong. And that is what matters.

Creating Positive Feelings through Art

Many older individuals have overcome their feeling of inadequacies thru art. It is hard to believe but it is a fact. You can lose yourself in the wonder of creation and lose those worthless feelings. It is just you and your art. It does not matter if anyone else can see the art you see. It only matters that you see it and enjoy it. You can immerse yourself in whatever you are accomplishing.

picture of an art- palette showing how painting helps in healing depression

Express yourself through art.

It might sound a bit cliche, but it’s proven very effective.

Art is a great means to externalize your thoughts and emotions. In fact, many people use creative therapy as a treatment for medical disorders.

Try to remember that regardless of age, mental state, or physical limitation: art is universal. 

And everyone is an artist in their own way — it just takes a little push to open that creative door. Then you may be on your way to healing depression.

This may be a good start for a senior. Try it and see!

Read more at GuideForSeniors.com for all things senior. You can email us at guideforseniors@gmail.com

Subscribe to Guide for Seniors!

* indicates required