Wednesday 18 August 2021

You don't need to talk to express!

Aquarius talks about his experience with mental health and how drawing, writing and painting has helped him through his struggles.


Anxiety and depression can be difficult especially when you're a student. It can really impact your ability to do some simple tasks such as socialising, making friends and even affects you in the classroom where you get too nervous to raise your hand and answer. Sometimes it feels like you cannot do anything; like some people are against you and as if you are not good enough.

I have had anxiety for years since I was a child. It has been a difficult journey, but I have learned that it is possible to work with my anxiety and depression instead of working against them.

I have found that being creative can help to deal with my anxiety and depression. I think that sometimes, it is possible to channel those deep feelings creatively. I think that expressing how you feel through writing can be very powerful and that other people with similar experiences will appreciate your writing. But more importantly, it will give you that sense of achievement, appreciation and gratitude that you deserve for being you.

There are just so many ways that you can share your experiences without actually saying them out loud including writing stories or poems, you can even draw or paint! Before you say, “I can’t draw or write,” the great thing about creativity, is that it is subjective. Also, you do not have to be an expert to be creative. If blobs of paint at museums can be considered as art, then most things can! Your artwork is an expression of you, it’s like an extension of your heart, mind and soul, maybe you don’t want to share it with others, that’s totally fine, your artwork is yours, there are poems I write that I’d rather have for myself than show others, every time I feel upset or angry I just read it to myself and it gives me a sense of peace. It also makes a good conversation starter to likeminded people. Plants are another good way to help with anxiety and depression, something about planting a seed and nurturing it till it blooms is just unexplainable!

Recently, I have started watercolour painting.  I’ve never seen myself as an artist but once I started channelling my feelings into my paintings, I ended up painting things I never knew I could! Here is two I painted, a lavender field and a forest:


And after I finish? It’s hard to explain, but I feel this sense of peace and tranquillity and somehow it makes me feel more confident in myself. I experience a similar state when I write.  I started writing poems about my feelings. At first, I just let close people read them, when I saw them appreciate and enjoy reading them, I slowly started entering writing competitions. I ended up winning quite a few and got them published! My point is, you can create beautiful pieces of art with your feelings and emotions that not only you appreciate but everyone around you would also appreciate!

I used to struggle talking and sharing my thoughts and feelings, but I realised that I don’t have to speak to share! Since my art and writing contain all my thoughts, it made it easier for others to know how I was feeling without me telling them! And those times when I didn’t want to share? I buy seeds, and I plant flowers and fruits trust me it works!

You can visit Student Space to explore online resources, access direct support via text, phone, web chat or email and find the support available at your place of study

Hi, I'm Aquarius. I'm 20 and I've been suffering from anxiety and depression since I was a child. I write, draw and paint to explore my feelings and I wanted to share my story to show you how powerful creativity can be. 

1 comment:

  1. Hello Aquarius - Thank you for sharing your story. I am happy to hear that your coping mechanisms of drawing, painting, etc. are proving to be so impactful in your mental health journey. I enjoyed the two pieces that you shared - and I found that your comments regarding not needing to speak your emotions in order to share is a key idea to keep in mind. All individuals have different was of communicating - what is important is to stay connected - in any way that you are comfortable with - share feelings in order to work through our ongoing mental health journeys - and reach out for help when we need. Continue the beautiful and expressive works.