30 Creative Writing Prompts for People Living With Mental Illness

Written by Hannah Blum, author of The Truth About Broken: The Unfixed Version of Self-Love


I believe writing is one of the best ways to express yourself, especially when you live with mental illness. However, it’s hard to know where to start, which is why I have written creative prompts crafted for those of you living with mental illness. Some require more time, and this isn’t something you should do all in one sitting. Spread it out, and make it a journey. Grab your pen, do not overthink, and start sharing your truth about life with mental illness.


If you could explain to someone what it feels like to live with mental illness, what would you say?


Read the following quote, and express your interpretation of it and how it relates to your life with mental illness. It’s feeling full of everything and empty of it all at the same time. This is mental illness.


Write down something you have learned about the history of mental illness and stigma. I encourage you to research online and come back to this prompt. I have listed some resources at the bottom of this blog post. For example, In my research about Bedlam Asylum in the 14th Century, as means of raising hospital income, it was allowed public and casual visitors with no connection to the inmates to watch patients displayed in cages.


Write one chapter of your story.


Read the following quote, and express your interpretation of it and how it relates to your life with mental illness. When you live with a mental illness you spend most of your time “trying to explain” over taking care of yourself.


What does self-love mean to you?


What do you want society to know about those of us living with mental illness?


What is making you feel anxious right now and why?


What has been the toughest part about living with mental illness?


Read the following quote, and express your interpretation of it and how it relates to your life with mental illness. It was when I was lost that I suddenly felt found.


Write down your favorite book and why it meant so much to you.


Write down your biggest source of inspiration.


If you have a passion for any form of art, how do your emotions contribute to your art or writings, photography or any piece of content?


If you could tell a psychiatrist and psychologist how you want to be treated and what you want from them, what would you say?


What struggles are you facing right now?


Someone, who lives without a mental illness, asks you, “How can I be supportive to my friend with mental illness?” Write down your response


Write what you love about yourself.


What has your mental illness taught you about life?


How do you want to get involved with the mental health community?


Why do you think there is so much stigma in society and how can we reduce it?


Read the following quote, and express your interpretation of it and how it relates to your life with mental illness. The mental health problem is not just a health crisis, it’s a social injustice. It’s the mistreatment of the misunderstood. 


Those of us living with mental illness struggle with self-love. Why is that? Write down how you think we can improve our self-perception.


How has stigma affected your life?


If you could make change in the mental health care system, what would it be?


Write a fictional story that explains mental illness.


What is one thing you can do that will help you get to where you want to go?


Write down 5 steps you can take that will help you improve your confidence.


In your own words, write an affirmation for you to recite each morning to yourself.


Free Write. Write whatever comes to your mind. Doesn’t matter if it makes sense or not. We can make sense out of nonsense.


Historical references:

Mental Health: Tracing The Stigma of Mental Illness

A Brief History of Mental Illness

Bedlam Asylum History


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At the age of 20, Hannah Blum went from Prom Queen to a mental patient in the blink of an eye, but what she believed would be the end was only just the beginning. In her first book, The Truth About Broken: The Unfixed Version of Self-Love, Hannah Blum redefines what it means to love yourself and takes readers on an unforgettable journey towards embracing what makes them different.

Copyright: The quotes used in this blog post are the original work of Hannah Blum.