Anyone who knows me knows that I’m super creative, I’ve always been super creative, whether it’s in art, design, music or craft. It was only until about 3 years ago when I started drawing portraits of people on a regular basis than usual, I realized that my bouts of depression had got more intense. My mood was up and down more frequently, my anxiety sky rocketed, my meltdowns got worse and being around people became more unbearable. I couldn’t figure out exactly what was wrong with me, I just knew that this intense slope came about when I started drawing portraits on a daily basis. I had a slight hunch that maybe my creativity and depression were linked but I never really looked into it.
I noticed also that the more intense my clouds of depression floated by, the better my artwork became, I even won an award for the Duke of Edinburgh Award in my 1st year as an artist. Everyone around me was so amazed and even I couldn’t believe how good I got.
I got even more creative when I gradually took on graphic design, painting, writing poetry and blogging and as expected my mental health got so bad I started seeing less of my friends and family. Whenever I created something really good I prepared for the worse when my clouds of depression floated by and yes suicide ideation became a popular theme in my head.
I tried to focus on one creative thing at a time, like painting one week, blog posts the next and a few portraits the week after. I thought maybe this might ease the dark clouds a little and it worked for a while but then I would forget and try to do everything all at once again.😪 I also thought my hunch about my creativity and depression being linked was probably just in my head…
or was it 🤔…
I met with this lady called Asma Shah, CEO of You Make It and she mentioned something about meeting a lot of creative people who suffer from depression, then it hit me…almost every creative person I knew had some form of mental illness including depression. I was so glad that I wasn’t crazy and as soon as I got the time I researched it…
Everything MADE SO MUCH SENSE 🙌
I found that we use the same thinking process when creating something as when we’re going through depression. Think about it….
Creativity is about thinking, ruminating on ones thoughts, looping through the details and what went wrong to gain a better understanding and execute our next move. It only makes sense that this thinking process would lead to feelings of hopelessness, like a failure and loneliness. That same over-thinking, ruminating on ones thoughts, looping through the details of painful events and what went wrong…it makes sense.
Although depression doesn’t make us creative but a creative person who spends a lot of time with this thinking process is more likely to experience that deep intense cloud of depression.
Research also shows that from an evolutionary standpoint, the reason depression is so evident now in people’s lives more than ever is that depression is now this psychological desire to be better, constantly focussing on what went wrong and what needs to change in our lives…and it all makes sense.
Think about those articles that start off with “You’ve been doing it wrong…” or those:
-10 Tips on how to…
-Every “Goals” you can think of
-Ever changing technology
-Everything that’s on “fleek” or “lit”
-Number of followers, likes and comments
Anyway you get my point, we’re constantly connected to this need to be better way of thinking, which is good motivation for our creativity or whatever we’re working on, because yes we do become better, but it’s not good 24/7. There are times as imperfect human beings where we need to live and just let things be.
I’m going to make something of this information I’ve found and try to see if there’s a way I can switch this kind of thinking on and off or see how I can manage my depression in a better way. Lol I just did it again 🙈
Thanks for reading.