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Redirected: artists and depression

Posted by Dr. Bob on August 23, 2003, at 8:26:48

In reply to Re: artists and depression (discussion fodder), posted by olive on August 10, 2003, at 17:10:51

Re: artists and depression (discussion fodder)

Posted by olive on August 10, 2003, at 17:10:51

In reply to http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20000128/msgs/19870.html

In response to Noa's: "My depression has felt more DEADENING in recent years, and less evocative of the artistic spirit."

I have been making art "professionally" (or whatever) for about 13 years, and have fought my way through each body of work...it has almost always been a difficult and profoundly stressful process for me. Ironic because so many people seem to think that being an artist is so "fun" and "interesting"...how great to sit around all day and "be creative." This has not been my experience. I see now that my artistic practice has been an ongoing attempt to come to terms with grief and depression. I do not view or experience my art as therapuetic because it does not seem to help the depression. It's simply its voice. And the voice has gotten louder and louder over the past year, to the point of feeling deadening...it is drowning out that angry spark that used to be the mechanism which flipped me from dormant(the idea generating phase) to productive (making work).

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Re: artists and depression (discussion fodder) olive

Posted by katia on August 10, 2003, at 17:43:33

In reply to Re: artists and depression (discussion fodder), posted by olive on August 10, 2003, at 17:10:51

Yes, even tho' this thread was posted awhile ago, I'd like to respond. I've been thinking about this a lot lately - creativity/spirituality/healing/mental illness/childhood!
Anyway, when I was a child, I was so much more in tune with my intuition and so much less inhibited to create. I think a driving "personality trait" behind this is being extremely sensitive. I could see things and pick up on things that other's didn't seem to be seeing. I almost wonder if depression was a result of this uninhibited vulnerable sensitivity/creativity in a world not exactly supportive of those traits.
I didn't really have support or direction for my creativity and it went wild. Went into self-destruction. Thank god, I've had writing all my years, it's been a life saver. but all I have are about 15 journals full of ramblings of a depressive, frustrated, with undirected creativity trying to find outlet or I'll go even madder. I wish I would've been more guided and directed with this energy - I think that's what's made my depression (personally) worse and bp symptoms. Unreleased and undirected creativity is destructive - and normally destructive to the poor body of the inhabitant.
I want to use medication to focus me and settle me down enough so that I can direct this creative energy in an aware clear way.

And I feel that everyone is a "creative person"; it's not exclusive to depressed bipolar people. This world is nothing but an endless ongoing creation.
anyway, that's my thoughts on it from personal experience.
Katia

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Posted by olive on August 22, 2003, at 20:58:25

In reply to Re: artists and depression (discussion fodder) olive, posted by katia on August 10, 2003, at 17:43:33

Like you, Katia, I also have many years of journals (about 17) full of what seem like "frustrated ramblings." As tempting as it is, I have chosen not to go back and reread them during periods of depression, as it only seems to fuel the distorted sense of "not getting anywhere" which runs rampant during down times. I suspect that many, many people have repetitive thoughts that haunt them throughout their entire lives--but those who choose to record them through written word have the added insight (painful as it is at times) that they are having the same thoughts, struggling with the same problems, year after year. It does not make us stuck, it just makes us more aware of our human condition and of our individual patterns. Please don't wish you'd done anything differently or better when it comes to your journal writing. And please don't judge it. To have the ability to focus enough to record your thoughts and feelings over such an extended period of time is a valuable accomplishment. Who knows how things might have been for you (and your loved ones)if you had not had this crucial outlet.

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Re: for katia olive

Posted by katia on August 23, 2003, at 0:41:30

In reply to for katia, posted by olive on August 22, 2003, at 20:58:25

Olive,
too right. I know better than anyone I'd have died without writing. And before I knew that what i was suffering from was depression and BP, I did keep seeing the same things, even writing about it "it's the same boring woeful tale again here...". In fact it's through therapy and journaling that I woke up to the fact that I was suffering from depression and life didn't have to be that way.
I just wish that i would've had more direction when it came to a career - in the creative direction. Most of my energy has been used up with my mood swings and dealing with an almost life long depression interspersed with some manic mixes. I was brought up in a very practical fear based mentality, so I ended up not being very practical because I tried to be! So for me, being practical is not very practical! It didn't work for me. I'm in so much debt. I'm 33 and I've never really had a career that I could say fulfilled me or was a creative outlet or life purpose. I know I'm sure a lot of people can say that too, but alot can't. I just am sad at the wasted time of my 20s and wasted relationships and feel pretty darn inadequate and too old to be figuring it out. I know I'm young, but not young enough. I want a career (what, I'm not sure!) a family/children. I don't even have a boyfriend! I just feel so slow at the get go and time is ticking away. I'm starting to change my perspective slowly but surely, however. Maybe the depakote's kicking in!
thanks for you comments.
Katia


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