Finding help at the end of a paintbrush


When Marnie Higgs sought help for her anxiety and depression in a private hospital she never expected painting would also be part of her road to recovery.

Ms Higgs developed post-natal depression after the birth of her second son, but her health took a back seat after her son was diagnosed with stage three kidney cancer around his first birthday.

“Once he was out of the woods it became obvious my depression was not only back, but was more severe than previously,” said Ms Higgs.

Ms Higgs struggled with depression and anxiety for four and half years before seeking treatment at the Epworth Clinic in Camberwell.

While there she picked up a paintbrush, originally to help pass the time, but she soon realised it calmed her often busy mind.

“At night after an early dinner I would still be wide awake and thinking, so I asked the nurses if I could use the group room.

“The painting came quite naturally. In a way, it’s the real therapy. I can let emotions out and communicate things I may not be able to talk about,” said Ms Higgs.

Her passion for painting grew and after six weeks at Epworth, with the help from her friends and family, she decided to print and sell copies of her art.

“It has made me feel that what I am doing has meant something to others and could touch other people in a significant way. It’s made me feel on top of the world and that I am doing something truly creative and worthwhile,” said Ms Higgs.

Ms Higgs found the treatment she needed at Epworth, receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) after not responding well to medication.

“It worked absolute wonders for me, I am very healthy and feel better than I have for a long time.

“Ever since I started treatment at Epworth, I now have the bravery to put paintbrush to paper. My perfectionist traits take a back seat to my desire to let go.

“Receiving TMS along with a few changes to my medication and the painting have come together to form a beautiful change in my condition,” she said.


View Ms Higgs’ artwork.


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