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Ry
Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2005
Total posts: 4496
Posted:This post was brought about seeing this comment on an older thread on one of the Crowded House members, Paul Hester, taking his own life a while back:



 Written by: ~Leah~



why is it all the really talented people go first? They don't seem to understand what they meant to people. Everyone has a story to tell............



http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/371780
br>


It sort of got me wondering about the link between creativity and depression. Are depressed individuals more likely to be creative?



Sometimes I see the 'creative' things I engage in- guitar, figuring out the alto saxophone, photography, writing, sculpture, firedancing, sock-spinning as refuge from a heavy heart. The lousier I feel, the more I want to get myself out there, the more f#cked I feel, all the more I want publish another piece of me.



But. Is it worth having a portfolio of sublime photographs, pieces of writing or art or music to your name, paying for it with constantly wondering how it'd feel to jump off every single cliff, bridge, building or drown in every river or bucket, wondering how many of any tablet you see is going to be enough to.. wondering if going to sleep tonight you'll be lucky enough not to wake up the next day.



Vincent Van Gogh, Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky, Mark Rothko, John Berryman, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Judy Garland, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Frida Kahlo, Michael Hutchence, Nick Drake.. all are widely accepted to have taken their own lives.



Depression.. creativity. Genius, madness.. I can't make any sense of it, or sense that is supposed to make sense.



I need to get some sleep.



To start your research: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/serendipia/Serendipia-Preti.html
br>


[Edited: Stephen Hawking removed from list of names]


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Ange_GSC
Ange_GSC

HOP's glowstick ambassador!!
Location: Bay Area, California
Member Since: 16th Aug 2005
Total posts: 128
Posted:I dont know if thats necessarily true, I myself am a very happy and non depressed person and I enjoy being creative and colorful all the time whether I'm spinning things around or not.

Then again there are all sorts of creativity in the world.


missegyptology: "I just remember beingall off balance and unicycling really fast down to campus and the arabic was all blurred on the page"

^When Linz pulls an all nighter before Arabic class^

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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:I belive there is some link between bipolar and creativity, altho as near as I can tell its debated still a bit. Certainly there's a loose correlation if nothing else.

I don't belive there's any direct correclation for genius with any other mental illnesses except autism and asperger's but in a sense a true genius is already a form of mentally ill in the sense that they have significant differences in the way their brain works which generally prevent them from having normal lives or normal social interactions.

In any event I suspect some of the mental illnesses are effects of what happens to their lives, but some are likely causes for whatever it is we like in them as well. I've even noticed a minor personal link in my life which I found interesting but not entirely unsensical.

As for whether its worth it I think thats a question only an individual can answer.


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Beethoven seemed to have some serious psych issues. If you listen to his music, it's almost bipolar...hell, almost borderline in its shifts in intensity.

Had he been alive today, I believe that he would have had medication...and his music wouldn't have been nearly as good.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Suibom
Suibom

addict
Location: Oregon, USA
Member Since: 2nd Sep 2005
Total posts: 577
Posted:When you're depressed, it becomes easier to withdraw from the world and focus on something. For many, it becomes easier to take all the crap that one is feeling, all the crazy emotions that one is trying to sort through, all the inconsistencies of life that make it so freakin hard to live in sometimes and apply them to some medium. I wouldn't doubt if most folks had their depressed poetry or depressed doodle stages, sometime between middle school and college. I know when I was lonely and depressed and didn't know if I'd ever find my place in the world, or if I even wanted to, that was the time when I felt my creativity was very strong... stories, poetry, art.. all flowed.

It seems when folks are happy, there is less need to transfer feeling and emotion to a physical medium. I mean, who wants to ignore everything and draw for 20 hrs straight when you can go out and play with your friends, eh?

Anyways, i'm rambling.. gotta go.


Definition of poi- A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.

Ahnold discussing poi - "It is naht a toober!"

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c42f
c42f

Member
Location: Brissie
Member Since: 10th Apr 2005
Total posts: 23
Posted:Hmm, I haven't thought about this very deeply (or researched it at all) but I think that maybe I know what you meen Ry. I seem to have a constant competition with myself to prove I'm worthwhile (or something) especially if I'm depressed.

I definitely don't think creativity and depression have to go hand in hand in general though.

I think that perhaps my perception of whether I've been creative lately is skewed in the following way: If I'm depressed it's usually to do with my work and my creativity finds other outlets which I notice and label "creative". When I'm feeling good about work and putting my creativity into my PhD I'm very much less likely to label the results "creative"... they're the kinds of results which I expect of myself as a matter of course.

Another funny thing is that I seem to be most creative/productive when I'm overloaded with other things I should be doing... I think this comes under the title of procrastination though wink

And to clarify: I'm generally a pretty positive person smile


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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:Wait a minute?! Stephen Hawking is dead? when did that happen? Sad...

One small thought on the general subject: I think many people with mental illness or depression are "different" in regards to they relationships within and to, a typical societies inhibitions and boundaries... Meaning they may not understand them , recognize them, care about them, be able to participate in them... In a way, that means when they approach their art, there are less external things to get in the way. They may be open to a broader range of possibilities, perhaps less self censoring too... They are better able to get into new territory, take things further, express them in unique ways. Their inspiration and stimulation may be from sources very different to the average person- they may see the microcosm, or the macrocosm in ways most people simply dont allow themselves. With a lack of extrernal connections you also simply have more time and desire to focus on your work/art...

Just ideas, no basis in anything solid- other than my own observations.

And many artists use creativity posatively, as a way of exploring emotion and pain... and transforming it.

But the association between art and depression is a dangerous one in some peoples minds- thinking that they have to be angst ridden to be a good artist musiscian whatever.Nonsense. Mary Oliver wrote a good poem about this, I will try to find it for you. Art can come from pure joy as much as anything...

It is a very provacative topic, thanks. Thinking on it...

But if you are feeling this way, I am very glad you have found ways out of it, ways of distraction and healing!
big huge hug for you,
Andrea


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Ry
Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2005
Total posts: 4496
Posted:Whispering to each handhold, "I'll be back,"
I go up the cliff in the dark. One place
I loosen a rock and listen a long time
till it hits, faint in the gulf, but the rush
of the torrent almost drowns it out, and the wind --
I almost forgot the wind: it tears at your side
or it waits and then buffets; you sag outward...

I remember they said it would be hard. I scramble
by luck into a little pocket out of
the wind and begin to beat on the stones
with my scratched numb hands, rocking back and forth
in silent laughter there in the dark--
"Made it again!" Oh how I love this climb!
-- the whispering to the stones, the drag, the weight
as your muscles crack and ease on, working
right. They are back there, discontent,
waiting to be driven forth. I pound
on the earth, riding the earth past the stars:
"Made it again! Made it again!"


- "After Arguing Against The Contention That Art Must Come From Discontent" - Mary Oliver


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Ry
Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2005
Total posts: 4496
Posted: Written by: andrealee


And many artists use creativity posatively, as a way of exploring emotion and pain... and transforming it.



I'm not sure if this is the same as using pain positively, as the raw materials for creative expression- or if you mean the same thing eitherway.

What I'm interested in though- if creativity and pain do have that relationship- is creativity a crutch?

Wouldn't one rather be happy than a master creative?

That being said, all the forms of creative expression I've personally found appealing, sublime, untouchable, special.. have been stained by depression and pain. Nureyev. Nijinsky.. the list is long and very upsetting.

Today I'd trade being able to take a good photograph for a shot at happiness.


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c42f
c42f

Member
Location: Brissie
Member Since: 10th Apr 2005
Total posts: 23
Posted:The poem - Lovely smile I think this applies to creative processes other than those we traditionally call 'art' as well. I especially appreciate the climbing metaphor...



Note: There seems to be some confusion on the web about who actually wrote this poem (eg http://www.poetryconnection.net/poets/Mary_Oliver/3087/comments)
br>
- from looking around, it seems more likely that it was written by a guy called William Stafford.

EDITED_BY: c42f (1145164444)


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c42f
c42f

Member
Location: Brissie
Member Since: 10th Apr 2005
Total posts: 23
Posted:Ry, sorry you're not feeling too good... (crossed posts)

 Written by: Ry


What I'm interested in though- if creativity and pain do have that relationship- is creativity a crutch?




Creativity -
an outlet
worth nothing more
than to keep us sane?

Personally I don't believe this, I am often happy and creative at the same time. I do think that if all my creative moments had to be stained with sadness, then perhaps I would reather be a less creative but happier person. It's a matter of degree though - I don't know how much I'd be willing to let go.

Anyhow, I wonder: even if it is a crutch sometimes, better to have a crutch and manage to walk than to fall in a heap on the floor. I would hate to think that people could be happier by being less creative. Perhaps I missed your point...


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Pogo69
Pogo69

there's no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness
Location: limbo
Member Since: 6th Apr 2006
Total posts: 3764
Posted:From my own personal perspective, I completely agree with you Ry.

During times of melancholy, depression and/or anxiety, I'm most likely to be able to get in touch with my creative side.

I play more guitar... I write music... I start to "get" my djembes... I start new stuff like fire twirling. I don't really know if it's depresssion "enabling" the creativity or just the fact that we're looking to fill the hole.


I'm impressed, Kyrian, that you even know about Asperger's syndrome; I'm always having to explain it to people. My son was diagnosed a few years ago, and I've pretty much self-diagnosed myself also (happens a lot with Aspie parents).


--pogo (pat) [forever and always]

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ASTRO FAERIE
ASTRO FAERIE

ummmmmmm.............
Location: Rotherham, UK
Member Since: 4th Mar 2003
Total posts: 724
Posted:I must admit, i suffered strongly from depression when i was in my early twenties, and i am a creative person by nature. I tend to write or draw when depressed as a distraction from the depression.
But.....sometimes it can get too much and you go the opposite way and cant motivate yourself to do anything at all.


Only when the last tree has died
and the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught
will we realise that we
cannot eat money.

Cree Indian, 1909

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GothFrogette
GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton
Member Since: 10th Oct 2004
Total posts: 3999
Posted:Ry hug hug hug

the creative side does help with the BPD and i love being creative, speaking from my point of view.... however. all the things i create i never keep. i burn them all or just throw them and no one gets to see them.



i think there is still a thread some where called poetry some times it helps.... its fairly old but it may still be there. there are a few HOPpers who posted in there too.


Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted: Written by: andrealee


Wait a minute?! Stephen Hawking is dead? when did that happen? Sad...




This was news to me as well. Are you sure he's really dead? I can't really imagine how he would be able to take his own life, since it was my understanding that his main method of interacting with the world was through blinking.

Also... I was under the impression that Charles Dickens died of a stroke.


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GothFrogette
GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton
Member Since: 10th Oct 2004
Total posts: 3999
Posted:just for the record biggrin

Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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littlealligator
newbie
Location: Leeds
Member Since: 14th Mar 2006
Total posts: 10
Posted:what a usefull site, slightly morbid fascination for whoever put that database together though...

but yeah, there is no psychological proof that depression is linked to creativity, but its reckoned that it comes from an ability for self-reflection like suibom said. the thing is, all the ability for self reflection that leads to creativity can also lead to depression, so you can see where the link is made... well thats what i heard anyway.


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GothFrogette
GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton
Member Since: 10th Oct 2004
Total posts: 3999
Posted:when you are surrounded by people who don't really understand where you are coming from it can be very hard to try and express yourself. i'm lucky my mates like the quirkey me but its really hard some times to convey to people what you are feeling as they do not understand or your scared of being judged. its alot easier to get that out in for of creating something. if you create something and channel your emoitions into it you don't have to worry about people calling you stupid, or silly or just plain insain biggrin hug

Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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Ry
Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2005
Total posts: 4496
Posted:Apologies- just checked, and realised Stephen Hawking on my namelist was an error. redface

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Psyri
Psyri

artisan
Location: Berkshire, UK
Member Since: 2nd Apr 2003
Total posts: 1576
Posted:My view is there are so many differences around and opinions, that everyone see's so differently. There wil always be oppositions. I myself am a bit of a moodswinger.... gone somewhat antisocial and I havent as yet got any creative patterns nailed down.... or maybe theres something up with me.

Point is there will always be stuff to debate about as to what is creative in each others eyes....

rather circular


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KaelGotRice
KaelGotRice

Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 1584
Posted:I remember seeing an article linking bi-polar disorder to creativity and a tendency towards art.



All of this is interesting to me since I recently had a second opinion confirming my type 2 manic depression.



When you're bipolar, your moods and feelings travel through the entire scale of human emotions. Some days you'll find yourself in heaven on earth, lost in the waterfall of ecstasy turned on by an imbalance of chemicals in your head. Other days you'll be trapped in your own personal hell, an emotional one far more painful than that physical pain and brimstone described in the bible and works of Dante. Those with bi-polar disorder type one will find their moods flucuating so badly they can't survive in "normal society".



I'm not that bad. But inbetween the days of crazy parties, dancing, and losing myself in happiness - and other days that suicide looks bleakly like my only option in this shitty world, I can only attempt to struggle to express how I feel during those episodes. So I guess that's where the correlation between bi-polar and artistic expression comes in.



smile



EDIT - mind you, bipolar disorder (manic depression) is different from unipolar disorder (regular depression) and doctors are still struggling to grasp a mediocre understanding of depression in general as an illness as well as it's causes. And I'll quote the wiki on it



 Written by:



Bipolar disorder and creativity



Many artists, musicians, and writers have experienced its mood swings, and some credit the condition for their creativity. However, this disease ruins many lives, and it is associated with a greatly increased risk of suicide. Psychologist Kay Jamison, who herself has bipolar disorder and is considered a leading expert on the disease, has written several books that explore this idea, including "Touched with Fire". Research indicates that while mania may contribute to creativity (see Andreasen, 1988), hypomanic phases experienced in bipolar I, II and in cyclothymia appear to have the greatest contribution in creativity (see Richards, 1988). This is perhaps due to the distress and impairment associated with full-blown mania, which may be preceded by symptoms of hypomania (i.e. increased energy, confidence, activity) but soon spirals into a state much too debilitating to allow creative endeavor.



Many famous people are believed to have been affected by bipolar disorder, based on evidence in their own writings and contemporaneous accounts by those who knew them. Bipolar disorder is found in disproportionate numbers in people with creative talent such as artists, musicians, authors, poets, and scientists Exuberance book by Jamison, and it has been speculated that the mechanisms which cause the disorder may spur creativity in these persons. Many historical figures gifted with creative talents commonly cited as bipolar were "diagnosed" after their deaths based on letters, correspondence or other material.



Hypomanic phases of the illness allow for heightened concentration on activities and the manic phases allow for around-the-clock work with minimal need for sleep. Another theory is that the rapid thinking associated with mania generates a higher volume of ideas, and as well associations drawn between a wide range of seemingly unrelated information. The increased energy also allows for greater volume of production. See list of people believed to have been affected by bipolar disorder.




EDITED_BY: KaelGotRice (1145243054)


To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

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roarfire
roarfire

comfortably numb
Location: The countryside
Member Since: 8th Jul 2004
Total posts: 2676
Posted:It's funny this thread has come up now. Lately I've been going through this crazy period of realising all these weird things about myself, and this was one of them:



I realised the other day that I wrote so damn well when I was suffering depression about 2 years ago. Back then I could write decent, lengthy stories in an instant, got good marks in English at school in the creative writing assessments, and I actually came out with stories that I was proud of and still am looking back on them.



Now, however, is the complete opposite. I can, and have done before, sat down for about 2 hours trying to write something and then when I finally give up I see that I've only written a few words. These days, I'm completely hopeless at any sort of writing or poetry no matter how hard I try and find myself getting really frustrated. I have no desire to write anymore and haven't bothered for the last year or so



My point is is that I do believe there is some sort of connection between depression and creativity!*







*DISCLAIMER: The fact that I'm being timed at an internet cafe and so I haven't read most of the posts means that this isn't a hugely thought about post! ubblol


.All things are beautiful if we take the time to look.

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:stopped taking my prescriptions cause i couldnt write draw or play any more

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Ry
Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2005
Total posts: 4496
Posted: Written by: faithinfire


stopped taking my prescriptions cause i couldnt write draw or play any more



Reminds me of I think it was the A Beautiful Mind movie.. can't remember if he stopped taking his medicine so that his mind flowed.. Unless I saw that somewhere else.

Mind if I ask what you were prescribed?

PS:
Here's another interesting read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creativity_and_bipolar_disorder


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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:ended up with zoloft for anxiety anger and depression and trazadone cause i was a semi insomniac for as long as i can remember...it was the best out of all they gave me...i didnt have any side effects...just too even to get anything good out...you get used to the swings despite not liking them and it is hard to be creative without them.
i was happier on them, but creativity is one of only a few things i have to offer


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Ry
Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2005
Total posts: 4496
Posted:I think I know what you mean about being used to the swings.. I've been having swings for as long as I can remember, and as much I want to just cut out the negative bits, I just can't imagine where'd I'd be if not for them. It just feels like things should be better, you know?

 Written by: faithinfire


i was happier on them, but creativity is one of only a few things i have to offer



Thanks for that.. it's given me something to think about.. hug


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KaelGotRice
KaelGotRice

Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 1584
Posted:Ry, if you're bipolar you'll need different meds than regular depression. Manic depression includes a period of "high" as well as the sadness you get with unipolar depression.



I was put on zoloft and effexor (medications for unipolar depression) for awhile when it was believed that I was just "depressed"; zoloft made me edgy/anxious while effexor made me downright suicidal and more frequent violent mood swings than before.



As soon as my insurance goes through, I'm going to be put onto mood stabilizers. I'm not sure of the name yet.



I don't believe in choice anymore as a result of medication. Everyone "choses" in their mind the choice that will make them happy, either physically, mentally, or spiritually (which if you think about it is not much of a choice) - Because we are all slaves of our own brain chemistry. If these drugs affect our moods, feelings, and choices in the brain, then does free will exist separately from the brain? That's the only way I could see choice as existing. Just be aware that under medication you will no longer be "yourself" - which can be a good or a bad thing.



Then again free will is another discussion.



I'm personally going to try mood stabilizers just because my bipolar appears to become stronger over time, and I would like to see what it is to be "semi-normal" again, and not hurt those around me. Yes I'm very creative and artistic when I'm "sane", but when I'm not, my life and those around me suffer.



hug to everyone


To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:yeah i do just have border line personality disorder, my stronger mood swings being on the dark end...i do get a few short manic phases, but not too bad, and nothing that my friends can't handle.
that is one thing that you find out...besides possibly bringing out creativity, you also find out who your friends are...
some will abandon you and some will try to take advantage of you


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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FoxInDocs
FoxInDocs

Pooh-Bah
Location: Adelaide, SA
Member Since: 10th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1848
Posted:
i'm always creative i think, but my differant states of mind spur differant kinds of creativity... in my current happiness i spend my time making useful things and beautiful gifts for people... i've beem making lots of pretty bags for people on my sewing machine lately... when i've been depressed i've painted and sculpted some very... um... interesting... peices...

The music i'm listening (or if there's nothing to listen on, what i'm singing) to is also usually very indicative of how i'm feeling too... but i always have music.


"i am exotic, and must keep my arms down" - Rougie

"i don't understand what penises have to do with getting married" - Foxie

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jungleboy
jungleboy

member
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 6th Apr 2006
Total posts: 40
Posted:mmm very complicated, for what its worth here is my highly scientific analysis. I think sometimes, for the creative and secretive person, a wealth of creative production that goes un-noticed can sometimes help fuel the peaks and troughs of depression, seeing a perceived futility in your work can be extremely distressing. Paradoxically many times praise does not relieve depression or even satisfy, it is simply the act of creation that is like a soothing balm.



I for one could not survive without my creative outlets. I suffer such an intense series of peaks and troughs and the only way I can level them out is to absorb myself in some creative pursuit, without this I would lose the plot for sure (some would say too late).



I see in my father severe depression and madness that I worry I am inheriting but then when I see him absorbed in his creative pursuits I get a brief glimpse of how he would be if he wasnt so sick. I feel sorriest for those that are depressed and not naturally creative who as a result dont have this wonderful opportunity to heal themselves.



And to Ry for what its worth your photos are very beautiful. Not to offer advice but maybe use the process rather than the product to help yourself. hug hug


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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:how creative can you be called when all you do is use tools someone else created (a camera, acrylic paints, guitar)? i dont get creativity.

IMO (and no offense intended) i think depression leads to a search for emotional/mental satisfaction, or maybe thats what depression is. anyway, this search is a result of dis-satisfaction with the statusquo, so depressed people will go out and find something they can call all their own. which i still find to be conformist because they usually use all the methods created by other people from their society. maybe people recognise this futility and thats what keeps the cycle going.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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