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Ancient art of Kintsugi can be healing

Londiwe Dlomo Journalist
The women were encouraged to #BreakTheBias, the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, by participating in a Kintsugi Interactive Workshop.
The women were encouraged to #BreakTheBias, the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day,  by participating in a Kintsugi Interactive Workshop.
Image: Supplied

It is safe to say that one of the running themes for the year 2022 is healing — healing for the planet, nations and the individual.

This was also the running theme at the WSuite, Lead Like Women event in Benmore, Sandton, last week. The event was to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Participants included businesswomen Johanna Makgalemele, Brand SA CEO, Sithembile Ntombela, and JSE Head of SME Development Cleola Kunene. The women were encouraged to #BreakTheBias, the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day,  by participating in a Kintsugi Interactive Workshop.

Kintsugi is an ancient Japanese art form and philosophy based on the principle of embracing flaws and beautifying them. You might have seen examples of this, the most famed being broken ceramic objects put together with gold. The imagery is certainly stunning, the deeper meaning even more so, the meaning that flaws can and do make things beautiful.  

The women in the workshop were encouraged to break their biases and rebuild from there, to show that flaws are indeed beautiful.  

Janssen Pharmaceuticals are of the mind that the art form of Kintsugi can be likened to the treatment of mental health issues such as depression.

“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.”

It is important to note that you should see a professional if you believe you need help with mental health issues.

Here is a brief overview of what to look out for if you believe you or someone else is depressed:

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 professional if you experience any of the after symptoms every day for two weeks or more.

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

There are various ways to treat depression and these include talk therapy, medication, light therapy and lifestyle changes.

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