Here are a couple drawings I did while in the hospital. My roommate, who I adored, had amaranthus on here beside table...it was stunning, so I drew it. Then I drew the part of my hospital room that I found myself staring vacantly at while I was there.
When I went into the hospital for ECT in 2004 I brought my drawing board, paper and pencils with me. Drawing helped me break away from the fear I felt about receiving ECT, but it was also a really positive way to pass the time during a very dark period of my life.
(note...an aside): ECT and my hospital stay was a positive experience for me. I read up about it and felt confident, and feel confident, that it is a safe and often effective treatment for major depression. There was however, some kind of primal fear about being put to sleep and trusting and allowing a stranger to do something physical to your brain. My fears were unfounded as the only negative side effect I was left with is crumby spelling (I used to have impeccable spelling...now it is really bad...though this could be medication induced and/or caused by my decline in reading since being depressed. It did however, seem directly associated with ECT..There is always spell check, so not really a big deal.
It is taking me a really long time to learn one of the most important lessons I can learn:
Plan to participate in positive activities in my life, even when, and especially when, I am depressed .
1. The planned activities create a "benevolent structure" (Dr. X's term) This benevolent structure creates an external "pull" towards my continuing to do things to help myself, even when my mood drops.
2. The plan replicates some form of structure, which emulates a sort of "work". I really need structure to get out of bed. I do more if I have a set plan to do things.
3. While it may not seem like doing things is helping, maybe while doing things I feel overwhelmed, overbooked or just plain tired, but...I know doing things keeps me at least more on track than if I avoid everything and sleep.
4. Scheduling and doing planned activities "forces me" to actually do something. I don't mean really forces, I mean creates a sense of responsibility to myself and others that acts as a motivation for my doing, rather than only thinking about doing. The latter only creates guilt.
5. "I don't want to, or I'm too tired to, (go, paint, participate, see anyone etc.) usually means "I am too depressed to"...if I am thinking these thoughts it is extremely important for me to challenge them.