Drawing Depression

I’ve struggled with depression since my early teens.  I have a form of bi-polar disorder that leans toward the depressive side.  I have manias that get me into trouble and I take unnecessary risks, but my biggest challenge is depression.

I’ve been self-managing it for the past 8 or 9 years, but in the past few weeks, months, I’ve felt myself sinking.  I finally got to a point where I didn’t want to get out of bed.  In healthier times, I made a checklist of when to seek help, and I’d filled that checklist right on up.  I saw a doctor a few weeks ago and got back on anti-depressants.

But I know from experience, medication isn’t enough.  All through my life, art and literature has saved me over and over.

I keep a visual journal and since February 4, I’ve re-committed  myself to a daily draw.  And to help me stay on task, I’ve decided to post my progress.

Several friends have urged me to share my journals more widely, but I have this nagging feeling that they’re too self-indulgent.  Is that those negative voices (you know the itty-bitty-shitty-committee) stopping me from acting on good ideas?  Well, I guess if what I post is too trite, you can look away.

It always helps me, though, to see how other people cope with mental conditions and health.

I haven’t decided whether to post daily or weekly, so I thought I’d start with weekly.

Let me know what you think.


I read the word “lassitude” in a book on depression and thought it fit.






It was a bad day but I found a little scrap of gold paper and put together this image



63 thoughts on “Drawing Depression

  1. I like your blog, Joy. I like what you are doing to combat lifelong depression. Your post on committing to daily art is helpful to me. I would like to commit to daily writing, because I suspect it will help. And yet I resist. The downward pull can be so strong sometimes. Thanks again for sharing your art and your experiences.

  2. Resistance is such a huge problem. Depression makes us think what we want to do is not what we should do. It’s overthinks and judges harshly. You might want to try drawing one small flower. I find that if I draw something small, it often leads to more. Good luck!

  3. Dear Joy,

    Your art is incredible and should be in a published collection. It is fresh, alive, meaningful, fun, and it is a window into your BIG heart.

    It saddens me to know you were sad. Remember that here at “the home” (ha ha) someone is always ready to share a hug and give you a pat on the back. Please remember you are not alone.

    Maybe you, Renee S., and I could could go out for breakfast this week. She and I are also grappling with things. We could nourish each other. What do you think?

    With admiration, friendship, and love, Lynn

    1. Thanks so much, but you know depression the illness is unlike normal sadness. It dampens everything down and takes away some of our ability to care for ourselves and seek company. That’s where the meds come in. Now it’s time to recreate and rebuild the spirit. We’ll get together soon.

  4. I love seeing your drawings and paintings. Depression is a human experience…no fun, but important. Your artistic expressions speak eloquently. Thank you. 💖💗💝💕

  5. I’m glad you shared! Truthfully I used to look at depression as some kind of weakness…you know, if someone tried hard enough they could just snap out of it. And then it happened to me. after a serious illness, I was depressed. Just the fact that I was depressed made me more depressed…and I spiraled downward. It was a miracle that one of my doctors insisted that I see a specialist and get help. Lucky for me I was able to get the right help at the right time and slowly the veil of depression lifted. The gift in that taught me to view depression in a completely different light. We would never tell someone with a broken arm to “just try harder to get over it” and depression can be like that.
    I hope you can find the help you need to overcome this. Please keep journaling too!

    1. I so agree with you. The fact that I’m drawing regularly again is a good sign that the meds are working. Now to get the creative side going to support the new outlook.

  6. Just discovered you! Please continue to use art to try to control your depression. What you do is beautiful and so expressive.

  7. Thank you ~
    Art, and other acts of creation help us step back, and look at our situation from a higher vantage point.

    I find a similar gift in writing 🙂

  8. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Joy. I love your art. It is a beautiful expression of life, your spirit emerging. Please continue to share your journey with us, it lifts my spirits as well.

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