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Are you an exceptionally creative person? Many famous artists, composers and other highly creative people have also had mood disorders. This has led some to speculate that there is a link between creativity and depression. Don't be shy. Vote in our forum poll and tell us how creative you are.

Comments
December 13, 2007 at 1:54 am
(1) Mark says:

I have both Bipolar and high ideaphoria. When i am high i cannot stop the flow of ideas, I in some ways wish that i was just a normal person whom dose not think. But like most people like me i really have very few freinds as people bore me with there uninteresting conversations. I am eccentric when i am high and do feel better than everyone else in this stage, this makes people think that i love myself but it is not true. Life is harder living with a very inventive mind, but at least i can realise that the world only moves forward when people are Eccentric.

September 17, 2008 at 7:34 am
(2) Wendy Aron says:

As a published author that suffers from major depression, I can say that there is definitely a link. I think I suffer from depression in part because I am so sensitive, and my sensitivity makes me more creative.

Wendy Aron, author of Hide & Seek: How I Laughed at Depression, Conquered My Fears and Found Happiness
http://www.wendyaron.com

September 17, 2008 at 12:05 pm
(3) Judy says:

I am bipolar and have no doubt that there is a relationship between my illness and my creativity. I believe that certain kinds of mental illness alienate those who have them from the crowd and leave us outside looking in.
This results in our being keener observers and freer to experience and describe the world around us in different ways. Temple Grandin describes her experience being autistic as concentrating more on the trees and having a more difficult time with the forest.
If we are fortunate, we have a “functioning” self that permits us to interact with people and in my case, often enjoy it. I’m in a profession that certainly requires it. On the other hand, I have to have a lot of control over “down” time and I require a lot of time alone. My husband is profoundly depressed and both understands and appreciates my understanding of his needs. We also enjoy each other.
I once wanted to be normal (whatever that is)and not feel so much. Not an option.

September 17, 2008 at 3:39 pm
(4) Peggy says:

Depression has been a big part of my life as long as I can remember. In the 5th grade I started to think seriously about suicide. Yes, I’m on meds (and meds, and meds). Yes, I am in therapy – years and years of therapy. Yes, I am religious. Yes, I know getting out of myself and helping those less fortunate is suppose to help me. I’ve read the books and I try so very hard to beat this, but depression is winning. I realize the importance of nutrition and exercise. However, I isolate and walking out the door to exercise is often like trying to walk through a brick wall. I am extremely creative. You name it and I’ve probably done it, and pretty well. Unfortunately, no matter how others see me, I still feel very inadequate and live my life looking through a black fog. My life has been wasted trying not to drown in an ocean of my own tears. (violins, please) I am overly sensitive. The Autumn (almost Winter) of my dreary existence has arrived and death is not something I dread. On the contrary, I’ll have peace – at last. I can hear your criticism, “Get over your drammatic self and get a life”! You are probably right.

September 17, 2008 at 7:07 pm
(5) Patrick says:

I’ve been creative all my life, drawing, painting, writing. I didn’t know what the symptoms meant until I was about 25. I’m much more prolific, in every medium, just after a major depressive episode.

September 17, 2008 at 9:20 pm
(6) Beth says:

There is a book about this topic. It is called “Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament” by Kay Redfield Jamison.

September 18, 2008 at 7:43 am
(7) Katy says:

I find tremendous creativity when I can actually involve myself in it, but for the past few years I’ve been blocked. That is the hardest part for me.

Although I try to walk daily, getting out the door IS like going thru a brick wall.

September 23, 2008 at 8:57 pm
(8) LEIGH says:

yes hi you all, there is a definate link between depression and being creative. as i read in one of the other comments — people who suffer from deppression are much more sensitive than the average folks. — that in itself is a blessing and curse. i am being treated with a variety of meds which i “think” may hold it to a level which, with my faith in god, makes it where i KNOW there is light at the “end of the tunnel” whether i see it all the time or not. one of my biggest problems with the medical professinals is they prescribe all these POWERFULL drugs and don’t even know HOW they work!! especially when given several kinds at once. which makes me wonder if i should try a more “holistic/natural” approach. either wicth way,NEVER GIVE UP!! — with god’s love, u’r friend in knox,tn LEIGH

March 18, 2009 at 2:27 pm
(9) Crystal says:

I have noticed that I am really emotional and I up heave with abstractions in different forms when I can’t settle down. When I get tired though from working so hard I just want to sleep becuase that is the only way I can be creative.

March 19, 2009 at 1:55 am
(10) James says:

I can set up amazing displays, build carpentry things without previous experience and do most of the things I want to, yet I have trouble tying knots and figuring out simple tasks, also I’m left handed and consider myself smarter than the average person who does’nt have mental problems.

March 23, 2009 at 8:30 am
(11) Edwin says:

I am not sure what is wrong with me but I seem to feel bad without any reason. I just start hating myself and it becomes very difficult to stop. I usually can not work on anything when this is the case. And not being productive also make me feel worse.

November 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm
(12) Karly says:

I moved to London to study fashion,the stress from the university work brought back my depression. I couldn’t and still cant keep on top of the work and It makes me feel stupid,hopless etc.But,being depressed away from home has unlocked something inside of me. I used to draw fashion illustrations and that was it,now I’m drawing what Im feeling. I really have improved in my drawing skills and my bedroom is covered in my own fantasy art. I can only produce my best when Im feeling low.

April 7, 2010 at 5:07 am
(13) Abhishek says:

Hi, I am an Engineering student, and ever since I joined college, I am a department topper. I have a creative mind, and complex programming are at my finger tips. But, nevertheless, I have a very few friends, and I don’t think people like me much. I get a bit aggressive sometimes, and I bore people with science and engineering junkies and ideas I believe. May be that’s the reason why I am so lonely. I am on Depakote for the past two years, and also on Serta, as I am suffering from Bipolar Disorder. I get a lot of depressive phases. I am still struggling with them, and I still have the hope to win over it someday!

April 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm
(14) Jim says:

I was a very successful, talented & professional musician until age 22 when I graduated from college, got engaged to be married & joined the corporate world. Later that year I was hopitalized for 5 weeks with acute depression. When I graduated H.S. my grades were average. When I went to college my grades were outstanding.

April 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm
(15) Darkenwulf says:

Creative? Yes! I’ve never been diagnosed with a specific condition because that would mean paying a doctor. I’ve been working hard all my life with usually barely enough money. So there, medical field. This doesn’t mean I don’t suffer from depression and mood swings – I do.
Writers learn to listen to the many voices inside of them and the people around them. This situation tends to splinter us in our thinking and feeling. We are who we are and other ideas as well. This will require a strong base to call Home and it is writing that takes us out of there. Mama, don’t let your babies grow up and be writers. You pay a price. Writers are strange critters.
While I’m at, my first novel Demon’s Daughter: The Full Circle of Trouble by me (Bruce Blanchard) is now available at http://www.publishamerica.net and I can confidently say it’s good. With it, I’ve tried to break about every rule of literature and succeeded. Watch out to be insulted and learn a few things.

August 10, 2010 at 12:31 am
(16) Rafael says:

I live in Los Angeles. Do you know how rare it is to find other (true) creative people here? Do you know how depressing that is? I feel like I live in my own world and I know too much- I’m too aware of everything(!) or too smart and honest. I’m incredibly sensitive and have a hard time connecting with people in intimate relationships or friends. I spend most of my time in my loft trying out new dialects, or painting, sculpting, or making music while I feel all the normals (yet incredibly uninteresting, boring folks) are so happy in their perfect worlds going out to the pub with their oh-so-many friends. I can never shut my mind off. Never. Can’t sleep. I hate being called a weirdo.

August 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm
(17) Lucy says:

I just came across the terms ‘ideaphoric’ today and I felt.. Euphoric.. found. All these years of feeling detatched, yet socially outgoing to cope with my ‘weirdness’, ‘flakiness’ has finally found a sympathetic ear. (Although I still find that there are few of you who may have ideaphoria and aren’t in the arts- I can’t paint, play an instrument, design anything etc). Nevertheless, I feel most free when I engage with others when high as their senses are heightened and are more open to creative dialogue- honestly, this is the only way to stimulate my mind. My idea spigot surges with new business ideas (which I never seem to be able to get down into a business plan to make anything of them). I also am glad to hear that there are others who find simple tasks difficult- for me its distinguishing between ‘left and right’ or being able to zero in on the sequential order of the alphabet for any given letter without singing the Alphabet song in my head (fired one and only time as a doctor’s receptionist because I was inefficient as a ‘filer’ lol). Anyone else feel this way??

April 12, 2011 at 9:36 am
(18) Gerri says:

I am bipolar and creative but I feel that I can’t express my creativity properly, which leads me to depression. I’m not sure of the point to life. I try to be positive, but sometimes doing things is so difficult that I just want to sleep the day away. Creativity is such a confusing experience and there are so many ways it can go.

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