Creativity and Depression

imfineI’m not sure the reason why but writing lately suddenly became an ordeal of Herculean proportions. I can’t say if the issue with plagiarism bothered me, or that I got sick with food poisoning, or I fell in this deep depression for nearly a week, but a vacation somewhere nice would be wonderful right about now.

Generally I can write if nothing but rants or bemoaning feeling the blues, but this blog I hoped to avoid such topics. Then I considered how many writers I know that deal with depression. Even Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Earnest Hemmingway (to name just a few) all suffered from depression.

Its hard to say what the connection is regarding depression and creativity, but most creative people I know deal with one level or other of deep sadness, sleeplessness, and other symptoms.

Bear in mind that depression is a treatable disorder. Seek help if you feel suicidal thoughts, or want to do harm to others or yourself.

Depression takes many forms and has as many causes. From chemical imbalance, to diet, to a bad situation all merit the label of depressive disorder. Therapy/counsoling or drugs might help, but I found watching my diet and cutting out all refined carbohydrates works wonders for most of my symptoms. For others, you need to work on behavior modification.

You might find taking vitamins can help. Some people have depletions of one or other vitamin or mineral in their diet and a simple pill can help with that.  Not enough sleep can also effect mood, as well as things like alcohol, or other drugs.

Some tips:

  • Get enough sleep. This varies from person to person but there is no shame to needing 9-10 hours of sleep if that’s what you need.
  • Be sure to have a diet of  balanced  nutrition. Take a multi-vitamin and eat a balanced diet. (Preferably one low with the refined carbs such as white sugar, pasta, potatoes (white) rice (white) etc)
  • Drink plenty of water. Oddly I found some studies that link slight dehydration to depression and fatigue.
  • Exercise. I cannot emphasize enough that taking a walk now and then can do wonders to boost mood. Just fifteen minutes of walking can produce natural levels of Seratonin (the happy chemical) in your brain, and boost your immune system as well.
  • If depressed about something specific, try writing through it. Writing can be a healing process to help work through issues. Angry with someone? Write them in a story to help deal with the problem.

For those who deal with depression, you’re not alone.


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