Mental health is an important aspect of life, yet often overlooked and often stigmatized. We often fail to recognize the symptoms, causes, and effects of mental health issues, due to the social stigma surrounding it. This leaves individuals feeling alone, judged, and discouraged from seeking help or talking about their illness. This is a huge problem for artists, who are among the most vulnerable populations when it comes to mental health issues.
Artists rely heavily on their creativity. It’s how they express themselves and how they express their message to the world. When an artist is struggling with mental health issues, a unique caliber of worry and fear sets in. Not only do they have to worry about their art and performance, but they must also worry about their own mental state and how it will affect their work. This can especially be true for those struggling with more intense forms of mental illness.
Every artist has to face the stigma around mental health. It is something that often results in internalized stress, worry, and fear. They feel that they cannot share their story or open up about what they are going through, for fear of being judged, misunderstood, and even ridiculed. This is only perpetuated by the fact that often times, particularly in the art world, success is able to overshadow failure. This creates a false image of perfection, making it seem as though any mistake or any sign of emotional struggle must not be shared with the public.
Unfortunately, this means that many of these individuals are unable to reach out for help. Their condition continues to spiral and they become trapped in an unhealthy environment. What’s worse, is that many end up turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms in order to push down their emotions and keep them under control, further worsening their mental health.
This cycle not only needs to be broken, but it needs to be replaced by an environment of understanding, acceptance, and support. We need to remember that even though an artist may seem perfectly normal, that does not mean that they are immune to mental health issues. We must remember to be gentle and understanding with those that are struggling. We also need to encourage them to talk about their feelings and reach out for help. This support will empower them to face their issues head-on in a safe and healthy way.
It is important that we create an environment that is safe and supportive for artists facing mental health issues. We need to provide education on mental health topics and allow for open conversations about the struggles that individuals are facing. We need to provide resources and support so that people know that they have a safe place to turn to when they are struggling.
At the end of the day, the stigma surrounding mental health issues is something that all of us must take a stand against. We have the power to make a difference and provide support to those in need. By creating a more open and accepting environment, we can ensure that artists are able to focus on their craft and create beautiful works of art without fear of judgment or stigma.