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Creativity, Mood Disorders and Medication


It has been noted that there seems to be a correlation between mood disorders and creativity. Many great artists, poets, writers, musicians have been troubled with mental health issues.: Ernest Hemingway, Carrie Fisher, Kurt Cobain, to name a few.

Jim Phelps, M.D. writes on his website how some evolutionary biologists believe that there is an advantage to having a small dose of bipolar genes (similar to having a trait), advantages like: creativity, courage, productivity. 1 The idea of having a bipolar trait is one theory.

3 thoughts on “Creativity, Mood Disorders and Medication

  • May 8, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Dr Anthony Storr’s book “The Dynamics of Creativity” documents this correlation with creativity and postulated that once cured of his or her ails , the artists source of inspiration dries up.
    Were this true I would not have been able to start and continue my artists journey, after dealing with some pretty severe episodes in my 40s.
    What I believe happens is that all the basic gifts are still there, and its down to the individual to re-individuate in a Jungian sense, having come to terms with their condition and make “new art’
    This often appears as a change of style manifest when reading the history of the lives of creative people, some of whom may or may not have endured a mood disorder as such.
    I am more inclined to think that its their determination to follow their natural gifts which keeps the fire burning, in other words the self acceptance of “I am an artist therefore I am”.
    Given an artist with a bout of severe un-wellness, It may be the loss of that sense of self esteem which can be the issue on recovery, so perhaps cognitive therapy to bolster and reconfigure thinking processes, can unstick their stuck-ness and avoid some of the disastrous despair driven solutions when they leave us though we love them, and we tell them, but they won’t actually love themselves.

    Reply
    • May 8, 2017 at 8:45 am

      Thank you

      I agree that the skills are still there, but the art may change after treatment.

      Interesting ideas. Gives me a lot to think about.

      Reply
  • May 8, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Looking at the history of the story of Modern Art as orchestrated by Clement Greenburgh’s critical pen , which moved the axis of art development from Europe to America, we have a group of earnest American pioneers who by their frequently admitted train journeys to the Big Apple and therapy sessions hinted at a problem which is a societal concept “conformity”..Which thankfully they rejected in favour of self actualisation, then we have enjoyed a vanguard of expression which took art into the 20th century.
    Conformity is but an idea. Reality is much more complex, we are only human after all, and we are flawed and complex. Enjoy…

    Reply
 

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