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How to Use Creativity As Way To Cope With Bipolar Depression

Bipolar Depression, Social Anxiety, Fear…Dread…of failure or a failed recovery…What do I do to cope with days that are not textbook good? When days are well, sucky, and just not good days, I shift to something creative, artistic, imaginative to cope with different stages of my mental health.

Over the years, I’ve noticed patterns connecting my creative expression to coping and living with my mental illness.  Two things that stand out is when I feel most like drawing is a period when:

  1. I’m about to come go into a manic state (hypomania). Coming down from the high or elevated mood.  Sound about right, more energy more productivity, right?  Only some of the joke and cartoons can be a bit more twisted.
  2. Second, when coping with bipolar depression my poetic creative juices are flowing.  Usually, I want to write poems with a dark hue.

For me this week and especially last night and today, I feel the heavy strain of Bipolar Depression.  When it gets really bad, as above-mentioned, I turn to poems, and I’m feeling a bit poetic.

So, I am just going to start writing a poem below without any theme or goal or idea.  I’m just going to start to write and see what I put down…((writing the poem title: Hope))

Update: I title the poem HOPE, it has some dark trigger feelings so be warned before reading it.  While the poem is not that graphic, it is not positive either.  The process of writing it, getting the creative mind going, DID help elevate MY MOOD. So that was great!

Reading the poem, again and again, touched and affected me in a very positive way.  When I wrote “ unable to act, or be motivated…WhyI felt that way at the time.  However, reading it aloud, I felt myself get MOTIVATED and empowered.

There is power is hearing yourself say out loud or read your feelings.  For me, it gave me a chance to ponder how I truly felt, and what I could truly do about it… i.e. booted up the “I CAN DO IT” feeling.

In short, the creative process was an incredible help for me.  It was more important than what I wrote or what I drew. (I’m sharing the poem only to share the process.)


What are some of the creative ways you cope with your symptoms of bipolar, depression, anxiety or other mood disorders?

How to Use Creativity As Way To Cope With Bipolar Depression

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2018). How to Use Creativity As Way To Cope With Bipolar Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 12, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Apr 2018
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