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Creativity and Mental Illness

I've never really thought that feeling numb was a problem for me. I've always had issues with feeling too much. Even when I'm depressed, I don't usually relate to the emptiness that many others describe. Even my depression is full of emotions, from self-loathing to existential dread. But over the last few years, I have learned to cope with my depression better and better, so when those depressive emotions resurface, I panic and try to shove them away. Which is why, after years of depression and anxiety, I am just now starting to experience numbness.
I am a big believer in the idea that writing can help with recovery from mental illness. I am a professional freelance writer now, but even before I made my living by writing, I used writing in a variety of ways to help with my recovery from mental illness. 
One of the most important things I've learned throughout my recovery is that I'm not just recovering from depression and anxiety; I am recovering from negative core beliefs about myself. Now that I have my depression and anxiety managed through medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), it's time to start changing those negative core beliefs and healing from the damage they cause.
Using creative projects for mental illness recovery helps me immensely. The arts have played an integral part in my recovery from schizoaffective disorder. It all started with a five-week stay at a treatment center where I received my initial diagnosis. There was a lot of downtime at the center and I was frequently digging through their stash of art supplies. I had frightening visual hallucinations and found it very therapeutic to draw them.
Mental illnesses are devastating. Even when the dust settles after your initial diagnosis, it's hard to see how there can be anything positive about mental illness. However, recovery is full of surprises.
Emotional resilience is very important to a person's wellbeing. It is a way to describe how well you mentally bounce back from upsetting situations and events. Resilience can be crucial in mental illness recovery where stress can aggravate symptoms. Being able to better handle stress improves stability.
Nothing is better than a snow day - nowhere to go, nothing in particular to do. Do I catch up on tasks around the house or go back to bed? My Keurig is calling. I dump a bunch of sugar in my tea and take a seat by the window. Our street is lost in the snow. The outside world can wait. My day is free and full of possibilities. Time for a little extra self-care. Spending a day at home can be a great way to recharge. Here are four activities I did during the snow storm today.
When I was a teenager, mental illness recovery wasn't a thought in my mind. I already had my life planned out. I would attend music school and after graduation, I would audition for a military band. Things didn't go as planned when I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.
I love being a mental health worker in Toledo, but I see our city named on all sorts of lists: "most stressed-out cities," "high violent crime rates," and even "least-livable cities."
Creative outlets enhance your recovery from mental illness and can have a remarkable effect on our emotional wellbeing, whether one has a mental illness or not. Art played an integral part early in my recovery from bulimia and schizoaffective disorder, and it remains a very important part of my life today. Art is my medicine, but any creative pursuit can enhance your recovery from mental illness.