Theatre Helps the Depressed

Arts & Culture Health Top Story

Catharsis is the process used by theatre artists to come out of depression.

By Aiswarya Sriram

Bangalore, Jan. 31, 2019: Theatre as an art form is being used to come out of depression. They get to express their emotions by writing about it, thus giving them a sense of relief.

Bijoy Idicheriah, who is passionate about  theatre and writes  political satires and dark-themed plays, says, “most of the dark  plays directed by me, where written by people suffering from depression, this helps them to express their emotion and come out of depression -, they use this as  therapy.”

The term catharsis is a process of releasing emotions under a different form, which are otherwise repressed. It is derived from the Greek word ‘katharsis’, which means purification or cleansing, says the Oxford dictionary. This is a method used by some of the theatre artists to come out of depression, by cleansing themselves or purifying themselves by removing the misery hidden in their heart.

Writing or working on dark-themed plays helps them to bring out their sad emotions, and thus helps them to come out of emotions, said Bijoy.

Prachi Hankare, a theatre artist says, “Yes, theatre is an art of expression. In theatre, you can express through writing down a play or acting. Acting helps a lot to express mentally, emotionally and physically. And I have heard many stories of people coming out of depression through theatre. If you are depressed, you are unable to express the way others do; Theatre can definitely become a medium for expressing and thus help come out of depression.”

Gaurav Ghadge, an actor, who has been performing for the past six years, says, “As an artist, I feel that it is very important to be busy doing what one loves to do, and you’d never know when you are over depression. Theatre is a great teacher and can be a wonderful companion too. For me, it was both – and still is. Theatre taught me so much, like discipline, punctuality, and constant urge to never give up. ”

Actor Nikhil Pakhale  says, “It depends on the person if he/she is interested in theatre then the entire process of it engages you, such as  workshops, exercises and stage performances It also helps in personality development, as it gives a perception to your mind.“

“As it keeps you engaged in the entire activity, your thought process automatically turns towards the theatre part; you need to talk to people during that process so it keeps away loneliness.” Dr. Sameera, who is interested in psychology and actively participates in psychology camps says, “It is an expression of their feelings. Ventilation (sharing) is a helping part of relieving depression, as in sharing and expressing their feelings helps them to overcome depression. So writing dark stories/plays is a way of doing exactly that.”


Image courtesy, Gaurav Ghadge