Suicide and the creative arts


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Using creativity to bridge gap

He had been cutting himself for the past few months. She had put him in counselling, but still, he attempted to cut his wrists. Thankfully, he was unsuccessful, because little did he know that he had a whole wonderful life ahead of him. I asked her what different activities he liked. She said that he enjoyed drawing and had taken an interest in art. It was at this moment that I knew how my husband and I could help. At this point in my life, I understood how painful life could be. I remembered a dark time in my life when I was eighteen. My first love had broken up with me and I felt lost in a world turned upside down.

How Creativity And Mental Illness Are Linked

I had no idea how to go on with my life without him. My older self-shakes my head at the dramatic nature of my younger self. It seemed as if my life ended. The sunshine had ceased to exist and I entered into a barren, bleak land. I experienced a deep depression overrun with suicidal thoughts. It was at this point that I learned of the therapeutic, healing power of art.

I learned to utilize art therapy for depression. As I learned to express my feelings of depression and hopelessness, I realized that my heart, my spirit were being healed.

The Suicidal Artist | Psychology Today

Through each brush stroke came a new sensation, a surge of confidence. I started smiling again. Also, I realized that I had a whole life ahead of me that was meant to be lived. In truth, I was lucky that I unearthed a passion. One day I walked past a craft store. I stopped and purchased canvas and paint.

The journey of healing oneself, I realised, is a process. I knew first-hand that art could heal an aching heart and soul. As I let the light of art in, I found myself in the darkness. My husband is one of those natural artists that was born with a sketch pad in his hand. At restaurants, he will be doodling on the napkins. He cannot go anywhere without a pencil and a notebook. This is probably one of the reasons we fell in love. We understood the need, the drive, and the desire to create something. Each week we would set up different art projects, at local parks, for parents and their children to participate in.

Transforming Depression Through Symbolic Death and New Life: Using the Creative Arts

It was amazing, week after week, to see the faces of families light up. It was through this program that my husband and I learned that we loved teaching and sharing art with others. We hoped that painting would have a therapeutic, healing effect on him. My husband taught him how to make his own canvas; how to paint; and to blend colors.

He would come over, play with our kids, paint, and truly became a part of our family. It was through his art that he began to express himself. He drew more, talked more in therapy, and started opening up.

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Simon found a way to express his feelings and to create something beautiful in the process. Today, six years later, he is still painting.

His talent is continually expanding. Simon, now nineteen years old, works in the medical field.


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He helps elderly patients each day. When you ask him about his job a big smile crosses his face. Recently, he painted his mother an incredible forest that she shows off proudly. This young man, who once desperately needed help himself, is helping others.

Art Therapy For Depression: Seeing The Light Through Creativity

Toggle navigation Menu. Name of resource. Problem URL. Describe the connection issue. SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries. Suicide and the creative arts. Responsibility Steven Stack and David Lester, editors. Physical description x, p. Series Psychology research progress series. Online Available online.


  1. NiTRO Articles;
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  5. Full view. Green Library. S Unknown. More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Contributor Stack, Steven. Lester, David, Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index. Artistic depictions of suicide can also have a contagion effect, causing suicides among members of the real-world audience. Guidelines are still needed for institutions such as the motion picture industry for minimising possible copycat effects of suicides in feature films and other artistic displays of suicide.

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