There have been artists throughout history such as Edgar Allen Poe, The Beatles, Stephen King, and many others who felt like they had to take drugs in order to enhance their creativity. While drugs may be a method of unleashing your creativity as drugs make the mind go to a place they have never been to before, it does not cause creativity. Creativity, on the other hand, can be a useful skill in helping patients speak to their therapist about underlying issues that would be hard to say out loud.
Drugs should not be an excuse for anyone to excel at their craft. After all, Jackson Pollock was able to complete his most famous works during his two-year sobriety. It is important for teens to know that since the brain is not fully developed until a person reaches their 20s. In London, taking “skunk” (a stronger form of marijuana) can trigger schizophrenia or psychosis. If drugs can destroy your mind at a young age, there will be no creativity left.
Creativity is a great way to recover from addiction to cure patients of alexithymia which is when you do not understand your own feelings or other people’s feelings, making it hard to put into words. Using creative outlets such as art can allow people to express their difficult thoughts, feelings, or memories without the use of words. Many addicts feel guilt and shame from experiencing their strong urges to substances and art can help process your feelings to prevent a relapse. For example, according to the Journal of Treatment and Prevention, sex addicts are able to show their feelings of shame through symbolism and imagery than through words. The Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology says that those who work in non-creative jobs feel doing art can improve their job performance and reduce work-related stress. Artistic therapeutic methods are the starting point for eventually talking to a therapist of your pain instead of escaping through drugs.
There are a variety of art projects to do to help you connect you with your feelings. You can create an art journal about the pictures you see in your head when your therapist mentions a topic. You can use colors and scribbles that represent your stress levels. Do not worry so much about making your art look perfect. Your art should represent what is going on mentally so your therapist can help you.
Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centers in the UK. Castle Craig provides consulting psychiatrists who diagnose associated mental illnesses like anxiety states, depression, ADD, PTSD, eating disorders, compulsive gambling, and compulsive relationships. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 29, 2020