What Is Depression Art? - Joshua York Legacy Foundation

What Is Depression Art?

Aug 1, 2022 | Art Therapy | 0 comments

What Is Depression Art?

Are you feeling down? Do you find it hard to get out of bed or enjoy your day-to-day activities? Well, you’re not alone. According to the CDC, 16 million people around the US suffer from depression every year. Depression is more than just feeling sad or going through a tough time. It’s a real medical condition that can cause physical as well as mental symptoms. And it can be very serious. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, and it’s also a major contributor to suicide.

If you’re struggling with depression, there are things you can do to feel better and improve your mood. One way to do this is by expressing your emotions through art. Creating artwork can help you understand and cope with your feelings of depression. And who knows, it might just brighten up your day too! In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of depression art and how it can help people struggling with this mental illness.

What Is Depression Art?

Depression art is a type of art that is created to express the emotions and thoughts associated with depression. Depression art is often dark and sad, but it can also be hopeful and uplifting. It is a way for people to express their innermost thoughts and feelings about their depression.

The Link Between Art And Depression?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “one of the most prevalent mental illnesses in the United States” is major depression. It is characterized by a persistent loss of interest in activities and feelings of sadness.

While traditional therapies (such as talk therapy and medication) are typically successful for many individuals, alternative treatments such as art therapy continue to rise in popularity – and for good cause.

Art therapy allows a person who is under stress or overwhelmed to take some time to reflect on their problems. It gives them the ability to manage their conduct, alleviate tension, process emotions, and relax.

5 Benefits Of Art Therapy For Depression

A woman drawing on the wall

Art therapy can be extremely beneficial for people struggling with depression. Here are five ways that art therapy can help:

1. Art Therapy Can Help You Express Your Feelings

If you’re having a hard time expressing your feelings, art therapy can be a great outlet. It can be difficult to put your feelings into words, but with art, you can express yourself in a way that is comfortable for you. You might find it helpful to talk to your therapist about your art, or you might prefer to keep your work private. Either way, art therapy can be a great way to express your emotions.

2. Art Therapy Can Help With Self Discovery

Through art therapy, you might discover things about yourself that you never knew before. As you create artwork and reflect on your work, you might start to see patterns in your thoughts and emotions. This can be extremely helpful in understanding your depression and what triggers your symptoms.

3. Art Therapy Can Help Reduce Stress

Creating art can be a great way to relax and de-stress. When you’re focused on creating something, it can help take your mind off of your worries and concerns. Art therapy can also help you learn how to better manage your stress levels.

4. Art Therapy Can Help Improve Your Mood

The act of creating art can actually help to improve your mood. Research has shown that art therapy can increase levels of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our mood and bring happiness. Art therapy can also help reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.

5. Art Therapy Can Help You Connect With Others

If you’re struggling with depression, you might feel isolated and alone. Art therapy can help you connect with other people who are struggling with similar issues. This can be beneficial in two ways: first, it can help you realize that you’re not alone in your struggle, and second, it can provide you with a support system of people who understand what you’re going through.

Components Of Art Therapy

Words like “art therapy” may evoke mental pictures of painting or drawing, but there are other media that can be utilized. Coloring, collage, and sculpture are all popular techniques for making art that may be employed during art therapy.

It’s possible to find the symbols, metaphors, and/or messages that frequently emerge during the creation of art while under the care of a trained art therapist. The identification of these components may lead to greater emotional understanding and emotional resolution.

What To Expect During Art Therapy

The first session with an art therapist will most likely be a conversation during which the therapist learns about the patient’s background and problems. The art therapist will most likely inquire about the patient’s reasons for wanting to pursue art therapy, as well as their treatment goals.

Subsequent sessions will likely revolve around the creation of art. The therapist may encourage the patient to talk about their work, but they may also allow the patient to keep their thoughts and feelings private.

The length of art therapy treatment will vary depending on the goals of the patient. Some people may only need a few sessions, while others may need ongoing treatment.

Renowned Artists Who Struggled With Depression

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh 's starry night

This artist is one of the most famous painters of all time, and he is also one of the most famous artists with mental health problems. Van Gogh struggled with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder throughout his life. Despite his mental health challenges, he still managed to create some of the most iconic art pieces in history, such as At Eternity’s Gate and The Starry Night.

Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe Painting

This American artist is best known for her paintings of flowers, but she also struggled with depression and anxiety. O’Keeffe once said, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way- things I had no words for.” Her artwork is a beautiful representation of the power of art to communicate what words cannot.

Frida Kahlo

A Frida Kahlo Painting

This Mexican artist is famous for her self-portraits which often depicted the pain and suffering she endured throughout her life. Kahlo struggled with polio, spinal injuries, and chronic pain. Her artwork was a way for her to deal with her physical and emotional pain.

If you want to learn about more artists who struggled with mental illness, check out this article by bored panda.


Art therapy can be an extremely beneficial treatment for people struggling with depression. If you’re interested in exploring art therapy, be sure to talk to your doctor or mental health professional. They can help you find a qualified art therapist in your area.

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