Can Depression Affect my Creativity?

Does anyone else feels oddly creative after going through a depression episode?

I know I do.

I have promised myself over and over not to write when I feel my worst. The words that come out of me are often miserable, and they don’t make me feel any better when I read them later. So, I restrain myself from writing anything at all. But the problem is, when I feel extremely happy, words hardly flow out of my mind.

It’s like I’m so content with my life that I just want to dumbly stare at the sky and sigh, “Ah, life is good.”

I’m utterly useless at this stage.

It all made me wonder why such thing happens to me. Why I find my mind empty in a state of tremendous happiness, unable to write or design anything? As much as I don’t want depression to hit again, I kind of need it in order to create something meaningful. Or is it the other way around?

After googling about it, of course, I ran into this article that talks a bit about the link between creativity and depression. And it made me think…

What’s the link between creativity and depression?

Creative people tend to be highly aware and reflective about their lives, their past failures, disappointments and fears. They have the ability of creating unlimited worlds in their minds, parallel universes where circumstances are different than what they currently experience.

And what happens when we spend too much time overthinking, unable to simply put things past behind us without looking for a meaning first?

Depression can happen.

It’s the result of the huge amount of time we spend ruminating and analyzing everything around us. We replay events in our minds, trying to make sense of the world, how it works, what does it all mean. Some want to express this on paper, with paint, graphite, clay, or words, looking for other similar souls that might feel the same, in the hopes that one day we find the meaning of it all.

Can depression affect my creativity?

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay

Not really, more like the other way around.

Depression is not something that leads creative people to create grand works, but rather the result of being too conscious and deeply reflective. It’s the price to pay for questioning existence. For not being comfortable in our own skin and desiring more perspectives than the only one we could have:ours.

Don’t be discouraged. Without this mental illness we wouldn’t have Poe’s most haunting works. The same goes for Dickens, Agatha Christie, Dostoyevsky. We wouldn’t enjoy the stunning paintings by Frida Kahlo, Leonardo da Vinci, nor Vincent van Gogh. Heck, we wouldn’t even have Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

They all suffered from mental illnesses, particularly depression, but their suffering didn’t stop them from creating. On the contrary, it was their motivation to convey their emotions and experiences through their art.

I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.

Frida Kahlo

While I try to provide different ways to cope with this fog that slowly spreads through our brain at times, if it’s going to inevitably happen might as well find the bright side about it. Not celebrate its existence, but rather make its passing meaningful. After all, isn’t that what creative souls do?

Stay creative, pineapples!

*Thanks to Image by ivanovgood on Pixabay for that amazing cover photo!

One thought on “Can Depression Affect my Creativity?

  1. I was always curious about that, because I notice my depression effects my art. Then I think of artists like Vicent van Gogh and how was impactful, but yet suffered from depression. Anyway, thanks for sharing!


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