Cyclothymia Looks at Mental Health Through the Lens of Astrology

If you don’t find the scientific vocabulary around depression particularly helpful — if thinking about neurotransmitters, serotonin, and biochemistry leaves you alienated rather than comforted — you might find Cyclothymia’s approach to the subject intriguing.

Artist Kara Stone studies and explores the affective, somatic, and gendered experiences of mental illness, wellness, and healing as it relates to art production, video games, and traditional crafting. Cyclothymia explores some of those ideas in a very personal sense.

I’ve found that looking at my own emotional phases through the lens of astrology has been really healing. I’m one of those classic emotional investigators – like if I feel a certain way, say happy and excited – I’m like, “Why am I so happy? Should I be feeling this way? Are things in my life good enough to be warrant this feeling? am I too happy? Is this an episode?” And that’s really anxiety inducing for me. Astrology has a way for me to practice radical acceptance. “I’m feeling so melancholic because the moon is in pisces. It will pass” I also struggle, like many people with specific mood phases, with thinking that I will be stuck feeling the same way forever, I’ll be this depressed forever, this crushed forever. But astrology again has been a great reminder that the world keeps on spinning, and all phases end and new ones begin, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.

 
Cyclothymia was recently part of The Mystical Digital, an exhibition of Stone’s work at Babycastles. During that exhibition, she spoke with Bedford + Bowrey about the work.

It’s a narrative journey backed by an ethereal soundtrack, which offers a way to “rethink the rhetoric surrounding mental health and see if there are ways of looking at it that aren’t so biomedical or [that result in] horrible stigma,” according to Stone

 
Bedford + Bowrey also discusses Stone’s other work, including MedicationMeditation, which explores the daily mundanities of life and health maintenance and toys with the ideas of virtual therapy, self-care and personal affirmation statements.

[Cyclothymia]