Did Picasso Really Have Depression? (7+ Clinical Symptoms)

This article will discuss the painter Pablo Picasso and his struggle with mental illness. Through the article, it will be discussed how he showed his mental condition in his artwork, and along with it, the article will discuss what depression is, and what are ways to cope with it.

Was Picasso depressed?

Yes, it seems that Pablo Picasso went through a depressive period in his life. He was a successful painter and was getting more and more famous once he learned his dear friend Casagemas shot himself in February of 1901.

As soon as he suffered this loss, his artwork changed significantly. He entered his Blue Period. In that period, Picasso painted many works, such as The Tragedy, La Vie, and The Old Guitarist. In those works, which are mostly in blue and green shades, the themes often seem sad. 

In The Old Guitarist painting, an old man, who is extremely thin, is playing the guitar while sitting on the cold ground. His shirt is ripped, and the work calls to the sadness and loneliness of this man. 

As for The Tragedy, it shows a woman, a man, and a child at the seashore. The mother and father seem cold, and the child seems to look for attention. This work shows the disconnection and intense sadness. 

Through all the works in his Blue Period, it seems that Pablo Picasso was dealing with the grief of the loss of his friend. This period lasted 3 years, in which it seems he was missing his friend a lot. 

When observing how Picasso reacted to this loss, it is hard to not relate. Everyone has gone or will go through losing people they love. And this has a great impact on your life.

When grieving, you will need to rethink your entire life without this person. You can miss them dearly, and sometimes it might seem impossible to go back to living. It can make you feel empty, without purpose. 

Grief can be a traumatic experience and one that can lead people to develop depression. To understand this better, let’s explain a little more what depression is, and what are ways to cope with it.

What is depression? 

Depression is a mental illness that can happen to anyone. Nowadays, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it affects 5% of the world’s population. It can happen to anyone, although there are some people with a higher chance of developing depression.

This condition usually affects more women than men. And it also occurs easily in people that have a family history of depression, or have gone through a previous depressive episode. 

People that are going through traumatic experiences, such as the loss of a loved one, or a financial or legal problem, can also develop depression easier.

Depression causes people to feel intense sadness, it also makes them lose hope and purpose. It can make a person feel empty, with less energy, and make it hard for them to focus. Along with that, depression causes people to have low self-esteem and a decreased sense of self-worth.

People can have many different symptoms of depression, and each person may manifest it differently. But along with what has already been said, the most common symptoms of depression are:

  • Change in eating pattern
  • Change in sleeping pattern
  • Isolation
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Guilty
  • Self-harm
  • Thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts

How can people cope with depression?

There are many ways people can cope with depression. They can do some lifestyle changes that can help them improve. Let’s discuss what ways people can cope with depression.

Keep active 

Keeping active, even if it means going for a short walk often, can improve your sense of well-being. Through it, you can feel the rush of endorphins, and that can make you feel better.

Have a healthy routine 

Depression can change your eating and sleeping habits. It can make you overeat, as a way to try and feel better. Or you can sleep a lot more due to the lack of energy that depression causes. But trying to keep a healthy routine can help you battle depression.


Meditating can be a way to center yourself. It can allow you to focus on something else rather than the negative thoughts that are running through your head. 

Be close to people you love 

Depression can make you isolate yourself. But it is important to try and be close to people you love and that support you. Through this, you can feel more connected, and it can also help you distract yourself from the negative thoughts in your head.

Find things that bring you positive emotions 

Even though you lose interest in everything when depressed, finding things that can make you relax and feel any positive emotions can help a lot. It can be watching a tv show or talking to friends.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

When depressed, you tend to have a negative view of yourself and can be ashamed and guilty about how you feel. But keep in mind that depression is not a choice. What is possible for you is to try to focus on your treatment.

Know when to look for help

In some cases, only doing lifestyle changes are not enough, and people might need to look for professional help. You can look for a therapist as a way to learn how to handle your emotions. Not only that, therapy will help you understand the root of your depression and create strategies to deal with it. 

In other cases, medication can also be needed. For that, it is important to be in treatment with a psychiatrist. They will suggest the best medications and adjust their dosage as needed.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ): Was Pablo Picasso depressed?

What are the 5 stages of grief? 

There are 5 stages of grief according to the writer Klubber-Ross. People don’t go through those stages in a linear form, they rather gravitate from one to another, and it is always a possibility that they can go back to another stage.

The first stage of grief is denial. In it, the person is faced with the loss but still can’t believe it has happened. They might think it is a lie, or that the person is on a trip and will come back soon.

The next stage is anger, in this stage, you realize the person is not there and you feel angry. You can be angry at God, or the person. In this phase, people tend to be more anxious and irritated.

The bargain is the third stage. In this one, you might want to deal with God or the universe to get the person back. You may start to reach people, and tell the story many times. It might be hard to find a new meaning in your life.

The fourth stage is depression. In this stage, you are hit with an intense sadness because of the loss you have been through. You can feel overwhelmed, and helpless. The final stage is acceptance. In this one, you can understand that life has changed, and you feel like it is possible to make new plans and move on.

Can surviving a suicide make you want to kill yourself? 

Yes, it is a known fact that a person that experienced the suicide of a loved one can have a higher chance of committing suicide. This happens because the choice of one person can normalize killing themselves to others.

Suicide is usually a taboo topic. People avoid talking about it and don’t think of doing it unless it feels like the only option. But when someone close to you does it, it might make this seem like a real solution to a problem and when you face a problem in the future, this “solution” can come to your mind. 

This is why it is extremely important to take care of the mental health of people that have survived suicide.

Is art a good way to deal with your emotions? 

Yes, art can be a great way to deal with emotions. Some people may find it hard to put all their feelings into words, and maybe a song or a painting can help them put all these emotions out. 

It is a lot better than keeping your emotions all closed off inside you. By putting it out, even without saying a word, you are going through them, digesting what is possible and letting go of what is not important.

How can I help a friend that is thinking of suicide? 

If you feel one of your friends is considering suicide, the first thing to do is ask them clearly about it. Ask them if they have been thinking of it, or if it is something they are already planning. This honest conversation might be a relief for them. 

People that are considering suicide are usually ashamed of it, and afraid they will worry other people. So try and let them know you are open to talking. And after that, make yourself present. It can be physically or through text, but let them know you are there.

And through it, try to help them to find treatment, or motivate them to stick to the one they are in. If through the conversation you noticed they are already in the planning stage, it might be important to get in touch with their support network and establish a way they won’t be left alone.

This will focus on making them feel better, and prevent them from doing anything. Another way to prevent it is to take things they might use to hurt themselves away from their contact in the house. With time, treatment, and support they can feel better.

What can cause people to commit suicide?

Suicide can be caused by a few things, but it is usually associated with the lack of hope, meaning the person lost any hope they had of ever feeling better. Or because they don’t want to be a burden to people anymore.

Those feelings can be caused by a mental health condition, such as depression. Which causes you to lose all sense of hope and purpose. Or because you are going through a crisis, in which you feel life will never be the same again. This can happen to people going through financial problems, or even legal matters.

The important thing, when surrounded by those thoughts, is to look for help.


The article explained that the artist Pablo Picasso went through depressive periods in his life. It also showed how his mental illness appeared in his art. Along with that, the article explained what depression is, and how people can cope with depression.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write in the space below.





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