Alternative treatments for depression – Part 1: Creative therapy

Creative people tend to get depressed more than other people. On the other hand, depressed people are urged to explore their creative side to rid themselves of the severe mental pain that disables them from living normal lives. Thus, apart from medications and evidence-based therapies, people often take help of various art forms to attain maximum success to fight depression off.

The famous proverb “turn your depression into creativity” resonates with a quote by American actor, writer and director Ethan Green Hawke, “Depression is a real demon in the woods for a lot of creative people. It’s part of what the documentary is trying to be about for me, finding balance, where the beauty that is attainable in the creative arts can be matched with the scratchy roughness of regular life.”

The implication of this quote can be understood by those who in their relentless pursuit of their goals are living lives of imbalance and unidentified illness. Keeping the mind occupied in making and fixing things while allowing scope for creativity breeds a feeling of satisfaction among those who tend to get depressed. Physicians refer to this as “The Creativity Cure” where the idea to create has been replaced by the need to create.

Manual activity which was initially looked upon as a means of physical survival is now imperative to psychological survival. The idea of curing people with creative therapy gained recognition in the United States nearly five decades ago, resulting in the establishment of the American Art Therapy Association in 1969.

Creative therapies enhance depression treatment

Creative therapies are a powerful tool for the treatment of depression, especially when they are used along with traditional treatment. These therapies may be carried out in different settings – individual, group, couples or family. While different creative therapies offer different levels of healing, each of them allows people to learn more about themselves and express themselves.

Creative activities are mostly done in leisure or for one’s refreshment, however, when these are done under the supervision of a trained therapist, they can augment the impact of depression treatment that the patients may be undergoing. Creative therapies may include:

  • Art therapy such as sketching, painting or sculpting
  • Movement therapy or dance
  • Music therapy
  • Drama therapy

Recovery road map

A lot of people are not ready to believe that any mental health problem including depression is a real issue. Depression is a severe condition which not only impacts the behavior of the affected person, but also affects people around him. While the stigma surrounding depression makes it immensely difficult to discuss conflicting thoughts raging in their mind, being able to share the problems makes it easier for depressed people to cope.

Psychologists describe depression as a silent killer. The covert nature of the disorder makes it imperative for the patient or family and friends to be vigilant about the early signs of depression so that it can be addressed with timely medical intervention.

If you or a loved one is battling some mental disorder, get in touch with the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline. To find out about the best mental health programs in the United States, you may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178. You can also chat online with one of our mental health experts to get information on depression treatment centers in the U.S.