Archives for Mental Health

Identity

Are All Creative People Insecure?


Even people with exceptional creative talents and accomplishments can feel insecure.

Meryl Streep, for example, has said, “I have varying degrees of confidence and self-loathing…You can have a perfectly horrible day where you doubt your talent… Or that you’re boring and they’re going to find out that you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Over the years of reading biographies and doing interviews with many highly talented and creative people, it has often struck me how many of them talk about being self-critical, and feel insecure at times.

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Consciousness

Fear and Your Writing


“It scared me sometimes when I was writing it; at times I had to stop—I frightened myself."

That is an admission by novelist A.M. Homes - see more of her quotes below.
If an aspect of your creative work scares or upsets you, should you change that part of the painting, or modify that design element in your performance, or stop exploring what that character is doing in your novel?
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Creative Thinking

Using Our Shadow Self for Creativity

“The unconscious is our best collaborator."
Director Mike Nichols added, "I try to let the participants [in my movies] have downtime before shooting and after rehearsal, so our secret collaborator can do its work." [AARP Magazine Jan/Feb 2004]

From post: Collaborating With Our Shadow Side.
"All of us have a dark side.”
Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. of Psych Central goes on to explain:

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Consciousness

Is Worry Part of Your Creative Life?


Probably most of us experience worry, stress and various kinds of anxiety to some extent, but creative people may be especially vulnerable to these mood and health challenges.

As psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel notes, "Life produces stress, the artistic personality produces additional stress, creating produces even more stress, and living the artist’s life is the topper!"

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Creative Thinking

Creative People, Mental Health, Misdiagnosis

A full list of talented and creative people who suffer anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges, would, of course, be limitless; being creative, gifted and talented does not exempt any of us from those problems.

Novelist Patricia Cornwell is one example of an artist who has experienced mental health issues.

She comments:

“I’ve had my own difficulties. My wiring’s not perfect and there are ways that you can stabilise that. I have certain things that run in my own ancestry.

“It’s not unusual for great artistic people to have bipolar disorder, for example…The diagnosis goes back and forth but I’m pretty sure that I am…I take a mood stabiliser.”

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Creative Thinking

Alan Turing: Exceptional Intellect and Asperger’s


British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing led a group of other brilliant codebreakers, including Joan Clarke, at Bletchley Park outside London during WWII to crack the German's Enigma code.

One of his biographers, professor S. Barry Cooper, writes that Turing “was a strange man, who never felt at ease in any place...He randomly adopted some conventions of his class, but rejected with no regret and hesitation most of their habits and ideas.

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Creative Thinking

Creative People With Schizophrenia – Part 2


Elyn Saks (photo at right in Part 1) is a law professor at USC; an adjunct professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego, where she does research about society’s rejection of the mentally ill and how high-functioning schizophrenics cope; and is a recipient of a “genius” grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

An article notes "She kept her schizophrenia hidden while excelling in her academic studies, receiving a philosophy degree from Oxford University and a law degree from Yale University."

She wrote of her experiences in her memoir, “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness.”

See more in post: Elyn Saks, Schizophrenia and Creativity.

She has commented, “Ironically, the more I accepted I had a mental illness, the less the illness defined me — at which point the riptide set me free.”

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