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Creativity and mental illness

 
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 03:21 pm
Cliff Hanger said:

Quote:
The people I know with the creative temperments who have been able to make a living are the ones who have a huge support network.


I never had a support network at all. I grew up in the days when people didn't really acknowledge depression -- especially in kids. Heck, my mom still thinks I'm depressed because of something she did. I love her even though she's that goofy.

I was well into adulthood before I went looking for help but I managed to support myself in a creative field and, while I guess it depends on how you define successful, I did pretty good by most standards.

But who knows? If my parents had recognized my depression and tried to help me I might not have spent my entire youth locked in a dark room (in the photography sense, not a dark room, in the emotional sense) learning the tricks of the trade. Maybe treatment would have squashed my creativity.

I worry about this stuff a lot. I have a madcap seven year old son who has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I adore his creative roaring but other people, especially other kids, find it a bit strange.
mismi
 
  0  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 03:31 pm
@SYNRON,
http://brightdays.wordpress.com/2007/08/27/why-are-so-many-comedians-depressed/

I have often heard there is a link between creativity and depression. Above link has another link that has a list of comedians that have struggled with it...including Phil Hartman, John Belushi and Chris Farley. Comedians are creative folk as well.

Your husband and I have something in common JPB - I too get over stimulated in some stores - not all. It is why I hate shopping.

I actually have a normal fluctuation of highs and lows...my Mom always called it my artistic temperment.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 03:37 pm
@mismi,
Mebbe it's like the grit in the oyster leading to the pearl?
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 03:40 pm
@dlowan,
I think that is true dlowan.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 04:58 pm
@boomerang,
I like to think that K has a strong support network but she's still in school so whether she will be able to turn her creative energies into a livelihood remains to be seen.

Mr B was pretty much left to his own charge growing up and managed to string it all together to find ways to channel his creativity into a sustainable occupation as well.

There are certainly many 'starving artists' in the world but many who do quiet well for themselves.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 05:02 pm
@mismi,
I'm not surprised there's a connection between depression and comedians, mis. I always thought the "class clowns" were generally hurting inside.

re sensory overload - I can sense now when it's starting to get to him. Daughter M expresses it as well and would rather wait for me in the car than wander the aisles of the grocery store or mall. I think you mom is very wise.

Love the grit and pearl analogy, deb.
OGIONIK
 
  0  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 06:22 pm
@SYNRON,
i love the abyss, i started a staring contest with it, i won.
mason738
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 06:28 pm
@JPB,
There is more and more evidence coming in that depression is largely a matter of brain chemistry. Of course, the mind can affect the body and vice versa but chemical manipulation of the brain has proven its worth.

It has been said that Freudianism went into the ashcan as soon as Zoloft came into being. A bit overgeneralized but today no one believes in the "talking cure" any more.
OGIONIK
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 06:35 pm
@mason738,
i remember posting something about an intellectuals depresssion, this is what i was talking about.

people who think, know. Razz

anyways, i love being depressed, it helps inspirationally a very large amount.

now that im alll happy and peaceful i cant draw or paint. very lame.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 06:44 pm
@OGIONIK,
hey, onion. Haven't seen you around much. How is the new job?

mason/syn -- (I don't have syn on ignore, btw, but didn't want to wander down the religious path so I left it alone) Sure, there's a lot of focus on brain chemistry and, as you stated, one can get stuck on the chicken or egg coming first. I'm not convinced that pharmaceuticals are the only reliable treatment -- a special lamp used during the winter helps Mr B and has no unwanted side effects. K, on the other hand, has been anxious and depressed for years (probably since.... birth perhaps) and found that controlling her anxiety with meds mostly alleviates her depression. She also has somewhat less interest in her music now but still enjoys drawing. I have no idea if theres a connection.

The earlier question of whether medicating depression (through prescription or non-prescription self medicating alternatives) has an impact on the natural creativity of someone is an interesting one.
mason738
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 07:08 pm
@JPB,
You are quite correct, JPB, but if you look at the History of the treatment of various mental abberations , you will find that fifty and sixty years ago there was almost NO pharmaceutical treatment. There are mountains of books in the 40's 50's and 60's(a title that comes to mind is"The Talking Cure) which focus on the psychoanalytic approach.

If you are curious, as you seem to be, about Creativity, one of the best books ever written on the subject(Check Amazon.com if you wish) is "Creativity" by Mihaly Csikszhentmihalyi--a famous Professor from the University of Chicago who is well known for his concept of " flow".

I am sure that you have heard of the theory that gifted individuals and those with oustanding intellects suffer more from depression than others because their minds are more finely tuned to the outside world.

I don't quite agree with that although there have been many great writers and painters who have made somewhat the same observation.

Check out Cskiszhentmihalyi--It may be just the thing you are looking for!
OGIONIK
 
  0  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 07:29 pm
@mason738,
there are too many girls there hah, its 4 guys and about 25 females.

crazy. its fun everyone is cool, i like that im busy my whole shift instead of acting busy.
0 Replies
 
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 09:24 pm
"There's a fine line between genius and insanity, I have erased this line."

Oscar Levant
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 09:26 pm
@mason738,
Creativity

Found it, thanks.

Publisher's Weekly Review
Quote:
Most creative people, the author suggests, have dialectic personalities: smart yet naive, both extroverted and introverted, etc. Expanding on his previous book, Csikszentmihalyi suggests that complex and challenging work exemplifies fully engaged "flow." Synthesizing study results, he reports that none of the interviewees was popular during adolescence; while they were not necessarily more brilliant than their college peers, they displayed more "concentrated attention." Later, they kept a consistent focus on future work. The author reminds us that while individuals can make their own opportunities, a supportive society offering resources and rewards can foster creativity.


Library Journal Review -
Quote:
... Csikszentmihalyi also deals with creativity and aging and ways to enhance one's own personal creativity. Although the benefits of this study to scholars are obvious, this thought-provoking mixture of the scholarly and colloquial will enlighten inquisitive general readers, too.


Hah! Maybe I can learn to be creative. nah...
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 09:27 pm
@2PacksAday,
Hey, 2packs! It's good to see you. How's your creative self doing?



onion -- it sounds like the new job is a good fit for you.
0 Replies
 
mason738
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 09:34 pm
@JPB,
His concept of "flow" is enlightening. He defines "flow" as "the holistic sensation that people feel when they act with TOTAL INVOLVEMENT.

I am oversimplifying but MC says that people who are very creative lose themselves in their sctivities. His model states that when a person believes that his action opportunities are too demanding for his capabilities, the resulting stress is experienced as anxiety... the state of flow is felt when opportunities for action are in balance with the actor's skills.

Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 09:36 pm
@mason738,
your typing is devolving, is it stress?
0 Replies
 
mason738
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 09:37 pm
@JPB,
Perhaps, JPB, some of your family has experienced the feeling of "flow" which MC says is the feeling one gets when one has done or created something imporatant which has called out all of his or her skills.

A pitcher throwing a no-hitter?

A writer getting critical regard for his novel?

A surgeon curing a very sick person because of his skill in operating?

MC would say they were all probably in the "flow" state.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 09:44 pm
@mason738,
massagato has striked again.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 09:55 pm
@mason738,
The stress/anxiety part sounds almost intuitive. An example would be an actor who suffers extreme stage fright before going on stage convinced they are going to bomb - but then puts on a stellar performance. And how many artists are ever satisfied with their own work?

Where does the "flow" come in?




knock it off, guys!
0 Replies
 
 

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