Are You An Artist Or Performer Who Is Struggling With Depression?
by Mihaela Ivan Holtz, Psy.D., LMFT
Are you an artist or performer experiencing sadness, low energy, or decreased motivation that is affecting your artistic and personal life? Is depression interfering with your relationships, both personal and professional? Have you been living with feelings of emptiness, numbness, or even suicidal thoughts?
Maybe your career has not progressed the way you expected; perhaps you thought you’d be more successful by this point in your life. Not reaching your dreams or goals may have you feeling depressed. Or perhaps you have everything you want—fame, money, success—but you still feel empty inside and lack genuine emotional connection with yourself, your art, friends, or with your audience. Being in the public eye hasn’t made this struggle any easier; you may be hiding your depression behind the stage, in your art, and your performances.
Perhaps being onstage or creating new art is not giving you the satisfaction and joy that it used to. Maybe you feel alive and connected when you create or perform, but when not creating or when offstage, you feel lonely and disconnected. Or, you may have noticed that you don’t feel satisfaction or contentment in much of anything, both on and off the stage. And thus, you may be worried that your career and relationships will start to suffer—if they aren’t already.
Do you wish that you could feel emotionally connected and happy once again? Are you ready to regain your creative energy so you can be happy with your personal life and your career?
Depression Is Common In Artists, Performers, And Other Creative Types
It’s actually not unusual for performers and artists to have depression. Part of what makes their work so appealing is the ability to feel things on a deeper level than the average person. Consequently, this makes creative types more sensitive to the pain of others around them and in the world in general.
Maybe you experience depression due to trauma, either recently or from childhood. Or you are feeling stuck in creative blocks, causing you feelings of depression. Maybe a recent loss triggered feelings of depression that aren’t going away. Or, perhaps you’ve felt depressed for as long as you can remember, and you’ve been told that depression runs in your family.
In either case, if the issues go unresolved, it can impact not only on your overall mood and outlook but also on your personal and professional relationships, your ability to create or perform, and capacity to handle professional events or being in the public eye.
Fortunately, there is a specialized form of counseling available for unique performers and artists like you. With the help of a licensed depression therapist, you can learn how to successfully manage and heal from your traumatic past, losses, or neuro-chemical imbalance without hindering your creative work. You can also address creative blocks or performance anxiety that is keeping you feeling stuck and depressed. Therapy can help you develop inner strength and emotional resources to decrease or heal your depression. You can thrive in your art, on and off the stage.
You have it within yourself to be happy and successful in your personal and professional life.
Depression Therapy Can Help You Achieve Personal And Professional Success
Dealing with your trauma, loss, creative blocks, or performance difficulties can help you feel like yourself again. It allows you to move forward and create your life. With the help of a licensed therapist, you can find long-term relief, recover the ability to function, learn better coping mechanisms, and even use depression in productive ways—perhaps onstage or in a new piece of art.
Learning how to channel negative feelings and energy is part of the healing process. Therapy for performers and artists can help you get in touch with the cause of your pain or emptiness, reconnect with others, and feel more connected to yourself and your work. Not only will therapy help you feel better, but it will enable you to regain a sense of vitality.
To get to the root of your depression, some of the strategies I use include EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as well as neuropsychology and psychoanalytic approaches. Using these methods, I will help you identify patterns and memories that fuel depression, leaving you feeling hopeless and unable to move forward. I have worked with several artists and performers who have found great professional and personal success after working through their underlying causes of depression.
Outside of our sessions, I may recommend regular journaling and meditation practices. We will also discuss how to set boundaries in both your work and in your relationships so you can learn to recognize and avoid potentially abusive patterns that may have contributed to or lie at the root of your depression. Getting in touch with and finding relief from the challenging feelings and emotions that hold you back will revitalize creative energy, helping you rediscover a full, vibrant, healthy way of living.
This renewed joy in life can’t help but show up in your performance and art as well, thus advancing your career. Indeed, therapy can help you get to a place of personal and professional happiness, fulfillment, and success.
You May Have Some Concerns About Depression Therapy…
Isn’t therapy expensive?
Therapy can be an investment—but think of it as an investment in both your personal and professional future. You can stop repeating self-defeating cycles and heal emotional pain. Reducing your depression and learning better coping mechanisms will lead to a happier, healthier inner life, which can only help your creativity or performance on set.
I’m ashamed that I have depression.
It’s normal to feel ashamed; that is just one way that depression holds you back. There is nothing wrong with you. In fact, performers with depression are more common than you think. You’ll gain a sense of pride and efficacy as you become empowered by the changes you’ll make. Therapy can help normalize and validate any concerns that you have, so you can start your healing journey.
I can take care of myself; I don’t need a depression therapist.
You may have been coping on your own for a while, but perhaps the methods you’ve been using have acted only as a band-aid over the real issue, without ever addressing the root causes. This can result in an ongoing cycle of frustration—you end up stuck in place, never able to move forward. Therapy can help address the underlying cause of the problem rather than help you mask it with coping mechanisms. It’s an investment not only in yourself but also your future.
Schedule Your Appointment For Depression Therapy
If you are ready to begin the road to recovery and become a better performer, I offer a free 15-minute consult by phone. You can reach me at 310-424-0292 or through the contact page.
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