About Mental Health and Art

They say that mental health and creativity is linked. Often, the decrease of one leads to the increase of the other. I've experienced ebbs and flows of inspiration in the past. But lately, I've been facing a saddening prospect.

I have synaesthesia. Synaesthesia is a cross-wiring in the brain between senses - meaning that if I hear music, I see colours. Sometimes people, interactions and places also cause me to see colours. There's different types of synaesthesia and it is thought that at least 4 in 100 people have some form of it. I only discovered later in life that I have this. I thought everybody saw what I did, so I didn't think to mention it. 

I also have depression and anxiety. I've had depression since my early teens and anxiety has cropped up fairly recently in the past few years. I've been receiving mental health treatment for a long time with varying levels of success. This year, I've been stabilising on a particular anti-depressant. If you've ever played anti-depressant roulette, you'll know that finding the one that works with the least awful side effects is like winning the lottery. So it might sound great that I think this one might be working. However, there's an issue... my synaesthesia has faded. 

So this is what it's like to be "normal". Now I can choose between stability and no colours, or the swooping depths of sadness and colours. I think I've decided to be happy. Because I've had so little of it in my life, that I'd like to see what the fuss is all about. I miss the colours. I miss them like I miss a best friend. This means I need to side step my art practice into other shoes. It's a challenge but I think I'm up for it. I've still got a lot left to paint.