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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Depression and Creativity - in that order!



Mommy Needs Vodka Postsecret Creative Gifts Depression
(c) Postsecret
 

I love Postsecret. It's my Sunday fix. Hell, it's my weekly fix, as my life is not that exciting. On the whole I feel I'm a nonjudgmental and compassionate person (don't we all?) but this particular postcard a few weeks ago sorta pissed me off. I wanted to shake whoever wrote it and call her a narcissistic clueless bitch.

Because here's the thing: It's the other way around!  But the world interprets it this way due to ignorance like the above: that writers, musicians, artists and creative people choose to be on the artistic side of the coin and in doing so, we also choose to be depressed, have anxiety disorders, or stick our Plathian heads in an oven after writing a brilliant book of poetry filled with both madness and incredible beauty. Because then posthumously we'll be famous and everyone will shake their heads and go "But she had so much talent--and to throw it all away! You know how those artists are" (insert eye roll). Yeah. We're all over that, folks.

NO, people. No. There is nothing romantic or wistful about depression or killing yourself. Nothing. And people who suffer from this problem don't choose it. Rather, they simply HAVE it, and yes, out of suffering can come tremendous creativity and enlightenment perhaps. Out of sensitivity, keen intuition and generally not fitting in with society, this puts us naturally in a creative mode as bystanders observing. Out of that can come some fucking incredible art, music, and writing.

It's true the majority of us don't get our jollies solving the latest Sudoku puzzle or discerning mathmatical algorithms. While I look at those people and usually feel glad my brain doesn't work that way, given the choice, I would gladly take the dullest personality in the world to get rid of the depression. I'd do electric shock therapy, hell, even a frigging lobotomy! I'd happily do the Thorazine shuffle and work in some factory inserting those cardboard thingies into rolls of toilet paper day in and day out with zero creativity, if it meant no depression and no anxiety. So fuck my "creative gifts" if it could end the depression. Seriously.

Here's a numbered list for the creative and non-creative alike (it's the closest I'll probably ever come to organization). 1. Depression is already there (usually). 2. Creativity happens.

So don't worry you'll end up in the psych ward if you so much as read a literary novel or try your hand at watercolors. Because if you love game shows, puzzles and categorizing everything into black and white, you won't be contaminated with a mental illness if you swing over to the other side on occasion and write a poem.

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3 comments:

  1. I was told for years that I was depressed as well. I was put on medication after medication with nothing working. After some "incidences" I learned I was bipolar. Has anyone every discussed that with you? I have been on Lamictal for the past year and half and it's been my life-saver.

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  2. Hi, Anon, I've never heard of Lamictal but I hope it is helping you. Yes, I've discussed bipolar w/ doctors ad nauseum, and definitely AM NOT bipolar. That would require the "highs" that come with bipolar. Rather my case is low-level, so an SSRI just makes me sort of "blah." If I were MORE depressed, meds would help. The best medication I have found is dropping all stressful activities for awhile, taking a hot bath, and/or, a nice long walk in the country.

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