Healthy Living

Therapy through Art: How Doodling has Helped a Lupus Patient's Symptoms

Doodling has Helped a Lupus Patient's Symptoms

Therapy through Art: How Doodling has Helped a Lupus Patient's Symptoms

Dayang Norhidayah Ngah was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), commonly known as lupus, back when she was 10 years old. The condition caused both of her kidneys to malfunction, prompting her to undergo dialysis treatment every single day since she was 12.

However, the onset of lupus didn’t even bring her down. After being diagnosed with the condition, Dayang decided to turn to doodling as part of her therapy. For her, doodling allows her to relieve pain and stress while she was undergoing treatment. Dayang, now 28, has been drawing ever since she’s a child. Unlike any other children her age who spend most of their free time outdoors, she usually reads storybooks and draw.

Dayang was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 10. She had to undergo dialysis since lupus caused her kidney to malfunction. However this did not upset her. As a part of her therapy she turned towards doodling that helped her relieve her pain and stress. She is now 28 and has been enjoying drawing. She enjoys her life unlike any other child and when outdoor she reads storybooks and draws.

Regarding the use of arts in patients with chronic illness a study has been conducted. It was found that art is constructive in many ways. A range of benefits can be experienced by the participants. These benefits are enjoying a renewed identity, maintaining a sense of control and improvement in social relationships.

The following can be provided by art therapy.

  • Sense of control- due to the restrictions that the condition entails the patient who is diagnosed with lupus usually may feel helpless. According to some experts as a means of containing their stress and often negative emotions, lupus patients consider their artistic expression.
  • Fulfilling indoor hobby- many lupus patients are forced to stay indoors since they are extremely sensitive to sunlight. Hence the time they can spend outdoor is limited. For some it can be depressing to stay indoors. However they can be provided a new and interesting challenge by art through which they can enter a brand new world of their own.
  • Distracts the mind from chronic pain and fatigue- for some it can be physically devastating to experience the pain and fatigue that comes along with this condition. However patients can escape from this dilemma for some time by doodling with a pen or by brush painting.
  • By bringing optimism- a person’s outlook on life can be enlivened and a sense of freedom can be brought about with the help of art. There were patients who by depicting various scenes were able to achieve relief. They would depict this by drawing inspiration from nature or by using their memory.

Some best art therapies are:

  • Acting- when it comes to escaping the pressure involved in daily life, acting is definitely at the top of the list. The patient can step out of their life by taking on a different character. However for their roles and talents their fellow actors and audience will see them.
  • Doodling- according to a study, memory can be retained by doodling. Also it has been concluded by several studies that relaxation can be induced and the individuals can experience reduced stress levels or maintain self control by doodling.
  • Photography- photography might just be a way for those who are forced to give up some of their favourite hobbies. Through this hobby they can include some gentle activity in their daily life. One can explore their talents with a good eye for detail along with little of practice. For this they need not spend lot of energy.

The tips are worth considering:

  • Explore capabilities- go for a program that suits your abilities and needs.
  • Look for the right environment- some prefer to work in isolation whereas some prefer working in a group. If a person wants to establish social relationship then in order to avoid feeling lonely it is better to go for group participation.
  • Be open minded- it is important for lupus patients to keep an open mind. Stick to the program even if you cannot see the results right away.