The virus pandemic presents a difficult issue of necessary self isolation in order to slow down the spread. We are naturally social creatures and the long term quarantine creates an unsure and unstable living situation. According to multiple studies, social isolation is a condition that has a history of negatively affecting mental health (Matthews, 341)(Taylor, 244). According to Yu, individuals who lack power in their own life experience a greater amount of depression ( 4). Lack of control over one's own isolation is combining these two elements, increasing the likelihood of depression.
Art and music engagement over time can help alleviate depression in both young (Rahmani, 84) and older (Im, 457) people. Using an ongoing hashtag and prompts system will offer a path to connecting with others in a shared experience beyond physical closeness. Creating these pathways to one another in a time of isolation is slowly building a community, even accounting for the physical distance (Blatt-Gross, 55).
The link between isolation and depression in multiple age groups:
“Young adults who were socially isolated experienced greater feelings of loneliness, and were also more likely to grapple with depression” (Matthews, 341).
Matthews, T., Danese, A., Wertz, J., Odgers, C., Ambler, A., Moffitt, T., … Matthews, T. (2016). Social isolation, loneliness and depression in young adulthood: a behavioural genetic analysis. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 51(3), 339–348. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-016-1178-7 (Links to an external site.)
“Our findings suggest that it is important to assess both family and friendship networks of older adults with depressive symptoms and psychological distress and the possibility that being isolated from these social networks is implicated in mental health difficulties” (Taylor, 244).
Taylor, H., Taylor, R., Nguyen, A., & Chatters, L. (2018). Social Isolation, Depression, and Psychological Distress Among Older Adults. Journal of Aging and Health, 30(2), 229–246. https://doi.org/10.1177/0898264316673511 (Links to an external site.)
The effects of art on depression in multiple age groups:
“The results of this study showed that the art and music therapies reduced the level of depression in the elderly” (Im, 457).
Im, M., Lee, J., & Im, M. (2014). Effects of art and music therapy on depression and cognitive function of the elderly. Technology and Health Care : Official Journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine, 22(3), 453–458. https://doi.org/10.3233/THC-140803 (Links to an external site.)
“It is evident that the participants in the art and music therapy group showed signs of hope and recovery from depression” (Rahmani, 84).
Rahmani, M., Saeed, B. B., & Aghili, M. (2016). Integrating effect of art and music therapy on depression in adolescents. Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology, 6(2), 78–87. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.tcnj.edu:2059/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=120552188&site=ehost-live (Links to an external site.).
Arts to build community
"The arts may also forge social bonds through their capacity to communicate the human experience with others and as a substitute for physical interaction" (Blatt-Gross, 55).
Carolina Blatt-Gross (2017) Creating community from the inside out: A concentric perspective on collective artmaking, Arts Education Policy Review, 118:1, 51-59, DOI: 10.1080/10632913.2016.1244781 Retrieved from:
Control and Depression
"If an individual depends on powerful others, this individual also easily experiences depression" (Yu,4)
Yu, X., & Fan, G. (2016). Direct and indirect relationship between locus of control and depression. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(7), 1293–1298.