28 February 2022

How kintsugi can help you heal from depression

Submitted by MyPressportal Team
How kintsugi can help you heal from depression

Kintsugi, an ancient Japanese artform and philosophy based on the principle of embracing flaws, and beautifying them. The kintsugi can be applied to healing our bodies and minds, especially depression.

Globally, depression impacts over 264 million people, and an estimated 76% of depressed people lack access to treatment.2 However, as more people open up about mental health challenges and actively seek help, talking about depression has become less of a taboo subject, which in turn makes treatment more accessible.3

What does it mean to be depressed?

Depression is so much more than an episode of the blues, the symptoms can be complex, and it is best to seek the help of a healthcare profession if you experience any of the following symptoms every day for two weeks or more.4

  • Irritable or depressed mood. 4
  • Sleeping too much or too little.4
  • Lost interest in things you once enjoyed.4
  • Excessive guilt or unrealistic self-image struggles.4  
  • Low energy, resulting in a lack of self-care.4
  • Significantly low concentration levels.4
  • Eating too much, or not at all.4
  • Agitation and severe panic attacks.4  
  • Suicidal ideation and/or self-harm.4

How treatment can be like kintsugi

“Up to 80% of people treated for depression show an improvement in the first six weeks of treatment, and this shows the effectiveness of seeking help5, said Dr Eugene Allers, a prominent psychiatrist based in Benoni. “Once you take the first step, and talk to your doctor, you will begin the process of putting the pieces together, until you feel whole and embrace yourself through various treatment options.”

Some of the treatment options include,5

  • Talk therapy- A healthcare professional will help you to understand the reasons for your depression, and will teach you coping skills to help you deal with negative feelings. 5
  • Medication- There are many medications that can help you feel better. Some of these breakthrough medicines can even be administered once a month, and prevent what is commonly known as ‘treatment holidays’, which is a step back when treating depression.5
  • Light therapy- Exposure to white light has been found to help regulate your mood and reduce milder symptoms of depression. 5
  • Lifestyle changes- Meditation, yoga and exercise have been found to be effective in the healing process of depression as they release endorphins. Mindfulness and meditation assist in controlling negative self-talk, and plays a role in preventing negative thinking. 5

The beautiful golden thread5

Repairing a priceless piece of pottery using gold often beautifies it through the imperfections. In the same manner, treatment can help you overcome your depression by mending the parts of you that feel broken.

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression or have any of the above symptoms, speak to a doctor and begin the healing process. To learn more about how you can break depression using the philosophy of kintsugi, visit Our Mental Health, an informative website that features professional insights and lifestyle advise for people living with depression and their caregivers.    

-- ENDS --


Breaking Depression is aninitiative that aims to reduce the taboo surrounding depression, and assist people living with depression through education, professional advice, insights and tips for people living with depression, their caregivers and those who support them.  

Breaking Depression is a Janssen initiative.


  1. https://themighty.com/2020/02/kintsugi-accept-heal-broken-parts-bipolar/
  2. https://www.who.int/health-topics/depression#tab=tab_1
  3. https://www.who.int/news/item/30-03-2017--depression-let-s-talk-says-who-as-depression-tops-list-of-causes-of-ill-health
  4. https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2017/05/7-ways-to-overcome-depression-without-medication/
  5. https://www.dbsalliance.org/education/depression/statistics/
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression#treatment
Published in Health and Medicine