Authors(s), Creator(s) and Contributors: Dr Susan Liggett, Dr Karen Heald, Professor Rob Poole, Dr Richard Tranter

Publication Date: 10/09/2013

Categories: Case Studies

Supporter(s)/Funder(s): Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and ADDO Creative

Using art to capture a sense of self during antidepressant treatment


This project was a qualitative study using a variety of media and guidance from professional artists to capture changes in emotional perceptions, personal authenticity, and the process of recovery during treatment with antidepressant medication. The artists, working in partnership with psychiatric patients, produced collaborative artworks whilst also creating their own artworks in response to the process. Although the project was conceived as a method of exploring the experiential effects of antidepressant medication, preliminary findings raised the possibility that engagement in the creative process itself may aid recovery from depression. This may be through diverting attention from internal ruminations towards external sensations, enhancing self-worth through the creation of aesthetic work and promoting the reconstruction of a meaningful personal narrative. In measuring success the collaborators were searching for changes to the self from a biomedical perspective and in the creative