View Full Version : Does depression stifle or enhance your creativity?


MindBlind
07-25-17, 04:48 PM
I don't understand how people can claim that their depression has fuelled their creativity. I know there are people that are somehow more creative when they suffer from a depressive episode or their depression is some kind of creative muse for them. To me depression just sucks all the life out of me and I can't think creatively at all. Even if you know you won't feel this way forever and that your future self would have like you to try harder, you get caught up in your nihilism. It's really hard to define, but when my mood gets low I just don't feel connected enough to anything to care if I make art or not. I stop finding joy in it and in fact find it painful - actually physically painful - to do it when I am in those mental states. Pretty distressing for an artist to go through.

And look, I'm not saying that I should always be in a flow state or whatever because creativity is supposed to be challenging. The creative process is frustrating by design and it's mentally taxing even when you have a normal mood. It's really hard to expend further cognitive power to that kind of higher cognitive functioning when you can't even decide what clothes to wear, ya know?

If other people can still be creative and productive while in the throes of depression, am I just being lazy? Do they just have better discipline than I do? What do I need to do to get better?

Fuzzy12
07-25-17, 05:21 PM
I don't know but I'm like you. I can barely string two coherent sentences together (and much less want to) when I'm depressed. For me it stifles everything.

I do day dream and fantasise a lot more though when I'm depressed though I wouldn't call that exactly creative.

Creativity requires energy. I don't see how anyone can actually create anything in that state.

Having said that I used to write poems when I was younger and the depression didn't affect that except that I'd write about being depressed and how futile life is...

userguide
07-26-17, 07:08 PM
I am not artistic and not really depressed, BUT ur post reminded me of an experiment I've read about.

Some guys decided to record their "marijuana session", because they had believed they got very creative after smoking thc, but they usually forgot all the great ideas.

So they recorded it, and after the replay from tape, the conclusion was: "I've never heard such amount of nonsense, declared with so much arrogance"

I don't remember where I read it.

MindBlind
09-03-17, 02:22 PM
I am not artistic and not really depressed, BUT ur post reminded me of an experiment I've read about.

Some guys decided to record their "marijuana session", because they had believed they got very creative after smoking thc, but they usually forgot all the great ideas.

So they recorded it, and after the replay from tape, the conclusion was: "I've never heard such amount of nonsense, declared with so much arrogance"

I don't remember where I read it.

I guess it depends on how the substance affects each person. Perhaps for some it helps them feel more relaxed and less vigilant about making mistakes, which is a great breeding ground for innovation. On the other hand, it can make you totally comfortable with being lazy and unmotivated.

What is great for creativity, IMO, is giving yourself permission to be bad at stuff. Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon said something about how you have to give yourself permission to suck so that you can actually get work out there and grow as a creative. I agree with that sentiment because my self critical voice has held me back so much in my creative process. Having depression just amplifies that self criticism and warps my worldview into thinking that because I can't draw a perfect, photo-realistic picture of Nicholas cage then I am worthless. Or at least it would do that if I actually set out to paint Nicholas Cage.

It's a difficult tightrope because you want to challenge yourself but if you make it too challenging you just set yourself up for failure anyway. The creative industry is especially very toxic when it comes to mental health, especially because you can get indoctrinated into this cult of placing your value as a person on the quality of your portfolio. It's no surprise that the entire industry seems to attract highly neurotic people. It's kind of messed up to think that my own career is holding me back on my career.

daveddd
09-03-17, 02:25 PM
my personal opinion is depression stifles any creativity or ideas i have

mania on the other hand...

Greyhound1
09-03-17, 02:38 PM
Depression only stifles my creativity, motivation, will power, drive, well being and other things.

For me it only fuels despair, anxiety and unhappiness. Depression has never benefited me in any way, shape or form that I am aware of. It has only stolen blocks of time and quality of life from me. I hate it because it truly sucks!

Little Missy
09-03-17, 02:51 PM
ugh, like everything.

Little Missy
09-03-17, 04:22 PM
oooh! I could go for a good mania today.

Been burnin' daylight though.
I think its the smoke. The fire is very close but not a danger.

MindBlind
09-04-17, 03:42 PM
oooh! I could go for a good mania today.

Been burnin' daylight though.
I think its the smoke. The fire is very close but not a danger.

Please be careful. I don't know how you experience bipolar disorder but I assume you're self aware enough at this point to reign it in before the fire does spread.

Little Missy
09-04-17, 03:51 PM
Please be careful. I don't know how you experience bipolar disorder but I assume you're self aware enough at this point to reign it in before the fire does spread.

oh no! I fear you may have misunderstood. I do not have bipolar disorder. There is a very large wildfire close by and it was stuck in a smoke pattern that obliterated the sun before the wind moved it around the mountains.

I do enjoy what I call mania, basically, it is just a great mood day.

Emre22
09-04-17, 03:52 PM
depression stole my years from me, if you are looking for a melancholic kind of creativity and inspiration .
Yes it enhances but it only brings more sadness
u must understand that this creativity feeds a sick pleasure of melancholia

daveddd
09-04-17, 04:05 PM
depression stole my years from me, if you are looking for a melancholic kind of creativity and inspiration .
Yes it enhances but it only brings more sadness
u must understand that this creativity feeds a sick pleasure of melancholia

like trent reznors "hurt" song

Emre22
09-04-17, 04:05 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruP672bL8eA

You can also check his channel , i bet this guy wrote these songs when he was in depression

i was listenning to him a lot when i was in depression

daveddd
09-04-17, 04:08 PM
oh no! I fear you may have misunderstood. I do not have bipolar disorder. There is a very large wildfire close by and it was stuck in a smoke pattern that obliterated the sun before the wind moved it around the mountains.

I do enjoy what I call mania, basically, it is just a great mood day.

oh i thought you were

i get those days too

pure mania though...woooo boy:thankyou::grouphug::yes:

Little Missy
09-04-17, 04:21 PM
oh i thought you were

i get those days too

pure mania though...woooo boy:thankyou::grouphug::yes:

never often enough, nor lasting long enough.

daveddd
09-04-17, 04:22 PM
never often enough, nor lasting long enough.

like a tease aint it

Little Missy
09-04-17, 04:23 PM
like a tease aint it

oh, it is, it IS!

sarahsweets
09-05-17, 04:48 AM
Depressions for me, fuels intense emotions and makes me irrational. I have never been extra creative when I am irrational.