Coloring Books As Treatment For The Mentally Ill?

Coloring books to treat anxiety?

I can't think of anything that replicates the meditative energy that is conjured up during coloring. 

Ah coloring books. Remember back in the day when you'd sit on the couch with a set of crayons and some previously manufactured drawings with thick black outlines? I do. I recall trying my best to stay within the lines. In fact, there was a car commercial in the '90s that gets stuck in my head all the damn time: "Stay within the lines, the lines are our friends." It shows children attempting to color within the lines, and then giving up because coloring outside of the boundaries is much more fun.

I am an artist. I am also mentally ill. I live with panic disorder, PTSD, ADHD and depression. I find drawing soothing when I am at my most anxious.

Recently, I found out that Crayola has a line of adult coloring books. When I read about them, my mind drifted back to my younger self sitting on the couch, trying to press hard enough on the red crayon so the preconceived firehouse was just the shade I wanted. I reminisced on that sense of calm, focused energy that I cannot seem to recreate in my adult life. 

I can't think of anything that replicates the meditative energy that is conjured up during coloring. 

I believe that these coloring books could be revolutionary treating mental health issues. There are plenty of inpatient facilities that utilize art therapy to help people living with mental illness process their emotions. Why not integrate coloring into the mix?

The adult coloring books are far more intricate than the black outlined firehouse I previously made reference to. I have seen detailed mandala designs. I have looked upon pages that are reminiscent of Aztec culture. People can create truly beautiful designs. They are also fun for people who love art but are not necessarily artistically inclined. Coloring is different than creating an original piece of artwork, which requires a different skill set.

Crayola has done a beautiful thing creating these workbooks. Me and my anxious self cannot wait to try them. 

If you like this article, please share it! Your clicks keep us alive!

Articles You'll Love