Art Therapy for Depression and Bipolar

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Depression and bipolar disorders can be helped through art therapy. Explore methods of treating depression and bipolar disorders with the useful advice from a trained art therapist in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Art Therapy
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Video Transcript

I'm Deb Shoemaker, an art therapist with Integrated Therapy Associates, and I would like to talk with you a little bit about how art therapy can help people who have depression and bipolar disorder. Depression often, part of depression can often come from just suppressing feelings and keeping them inside. And sometimes, when something really, really sad has happened, it's difficult for people to talk about it. It might be something that was embarrassing or just too painful for words. So, the art process can give people a way to express those feelings. And get them out, on to the paper, or in the clay, or collage, or whatever medium they're using. So, that helps and that itself is depression. Because we know that when we keep our feelings stuffed in. We're either going to implode or explode, and that's what depression is. It's a graphic indicator for people, so it can be a really good way to, to more acquaint a manic episode, is an early onset. Because the art work, the images do change. And some examples of what someone who is going through a manic stage, their art work may look like, is lots of colors. Colors that don't, that may not be realistic to, to the image. Although, that's not you know, mutually exclusive, again, not always. But, or just all over the place on the paper, needing more paper, needing more art supplies. Those can be indicators for the clinician and for the client, or patient. To actually identify that there is the mania stage going on or surfacing. And then, whatever that person has in place for their coping skills, can be employed. And that varies for people, for some it might be an information to check their meds, with their physician. Or, it might be, they have other coping skills that, that particular person has in place. And that's like a flag for them to know, to get those in order. Or, maybe, exercising those ones, like, go get to the gym, or go for a walk, or contacting their support system. Remember to always consult with a professional art therapist for more information.

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