Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 805411

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Depression and Creativity

Posted by Phoenix1 on January 9, 2008, at 20:40:50

Can anyone provide any insight about the general perception that profound depression can lead to creative genius? There are a number of examples in popular culture. I just don't understand how people are creatively productive while depressed...

Phoenix1

 

Re: Depression and Creativity

Posted by obsidian on January 9, 2008, at 21:05:58

In reply to Depression and Creativity, posted by Phoenix1 on January 9, 2008, at 20:40:50

hmmmm...many thoughts on this

but sometimes I think that a heightened sort of emotionality (if that is an aspect of someone's depression) is like something you can dip into, so that it can be a great source. The problem is that you can also drown in that well.

I read this a long time ago....
"Touched with Fire"
it's about bipolar disorder and the artistic temperament, but a lot will still apply

 

Re: Depression and Creativity

Posted by star008 on January 9, 2008, at 21:45:17

In reply to Depression and Creativity, posted by Phoenix1 on January 9, 2008, at 20:40:50

phoenix,,,

i can only guess but it might have to do with going onto oneself and expressing in an artistic way. Alcohol also played a part for some, (like poe, I beleive).. I wish I could get some artistic genious from my depression!! then it might be worth somethng.

 

Re: Depression and Creativity Phoenix1

Posted by Dinah on January 9, 2008, at 21:45:56

In reply to Depression and Creativity, posted by Phoenix1 on January 9, 2008, at 20:40:50

It might depend on the type of depression. I think it would be hard for people who have the sort of depression where they can't get out of bed and their brain feels like mush to be all that creative. But depression is rather a wide umbrella.

 

Re: Depression and Creativity Phoenix1

Posted by MidnightBlue on January 9, 2008, at 22:22:58

In reply to Depression and Creativity, posted by Phoenix1 on January 9, 2008, at 20:40:50

That subject is discussed in one of the chapters of the book "Overcoming Depression". Primarily it talks about bipolar depression and how the tendency to have looser thought connections and creative thought go together.

I'm sure someone else can express this better! But the idea is that if you say "snow" the average person might say "white" or "cold" and a more creative bipolar person might say "pure." Their mind goes from white, to clean, to untouched, to pure.... all in one leap.

MidnightBlue

 

Re: Depression and Creativity

Posted by Phillipa on January 9, 2008, at 23:55:35

In reply to Re: Depression and Creativity Phoenix1, posted by MidnightBlue on January 9, 2008, at 22:22:58

I think depression by itself sucks up creativity but know that bipolar a hypomanic state great things can be accomplished. I base this on my ex father in law who built an empire til the disease became full blown. Then he was either out of control or so depressed he couldn't move. So many artists were depressed or had some sort of mental illness who cut off their ear can't remember. These are just my personal thoughts. Love Phillipa oh that was Van Gogh and I think he was not depressed. Don't know though. Just thoughts

 

Re: Depression and Creativity

Posted by Wittgenstein on January 10, 2008, at 4:53:07

In reply to Re: Depression and Creativity, posted by Phillipa on January 9, 2008, at 23:55:35

As for Vincent Van Gogh. He had an older brother who died before he was born, and who was also named Vincent. Vincent (the painter) was named after him - he was the 'replacement child', and everyday as a young boy, he would be sent to put flowers on his dead brother's grave. I wonder what effects this had. He has retrospectively been diagnosed with Manic Depression. During his life-time he was treated for epilepsy and spent periods in a mental asylum (at one point he cut off his ear and he ended his life by suicide). The treatment at the time for epilepsy was a drug called Digitalis (extracted from Fox Gloves) and can have the effect of distorting the vision, so that things appear with a yellow/green hue and hallows appear around lights. Perhaps this might explain something of The Starry Night and his apparent attraction to yellow from what we see in his paintings.

Witti

 

Re: Depression and Creativity

Posted by B2chica on January 10, 2008, at 8:16:53

In reply to Re: Depression and Creativity, posted by Wittgenstein on January 10, 2008, at 4:53:07

he also always felt second to theo, the one he always wrote to. he fell in love with the woman who married theo.
he also drank a loooot of absynthe (sp?) which i think they say can give hallucinations or effect vision as well.

back to depression. in the beginning of my depression it does allow for some creativity but soon it drops so hard so fast that creativity is gone cuz all my effort is on just functioning and obsessive thoughts of death.
so for me depression is not 'good' . however, ive been told i also have dysthymia is that the personality disorder (depressive personality)anyway, this however can help the writing that i do and some artwork. that never gets worse.


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