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January 27, 2007
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Due to notes of support and interest, the chatroom BlockBusters is now open.  If you are interested in moderating and have a calm, patient moderator personality, note me.  I'll be there from time to time but definitely would love to have someone with experience and understanding of creative block, burnout, depression and so on who will be there more often.  Note me!

It's been suggested by many researchers that creativity and depression are often coexistant in many individuals.  Some say there is a biochemical factor, while others point to the fact that the areas of the brain that are most active during creative processes are also the areas most active during depressive episodes.  Whether the emotional instability spurs the creativity or vice-versa is not certain, but what is certain is that there are many, many of you artists who suffer from manic-depression, schizophrenia, crippling depression and paralyzing burnout.  

Someone very near and dear to me is suffering greatly from the inability to draw, which is how this person earns a living.  What used to be a joy is now terrifying and where once they could spend 16 hours a day happily creating art, they find themself shaking and in tears at the very thought of picking up a pencil.  It's surely the stress of having to please art editors and the critical public, but what I want to ask you all is this: are there any of you who also experience this?  If so, what do you do?  How do you get past the self-doubt and anxiety attacks to become prolific again?  When all inspiration is gone, how do you push yourself through?

I hope some of you will post some of your own wisdom of experience.  And I hope that any of you suffering this right now will find some comfort and guidance.  I hope this can open a discourse on burnout, depression, and work-related problems.  And finally, if anyone wants to open a chatroom (or join one if I open it) focusing on support for the seriously depressed (not just emo.  I'm talking clinically depressed) then post a note here.  I can't fix my friend.  I don't have the experience to fully understand.  So please help.

F102 - Burnout by markus71


Articles of interest:
Brain Regions May Sap or Spur Creativity
Eccentric Artists and Mad Scientists
Defining Mental Illness
Creativity and Burnout
Anxiety Disorder

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:iconrachastock:
A lot of my problems were from my childhood as well, particularly my controlling father and the domestic abuse he inflicted on my mother and then many years down the track when I had learnt to respect him again, he started hurting my step-mother. It's hard seeing someone you admire hurting someone else, particularly when everyone else in the family is happy to ignore it.

But despite saying that, I know what you mean about banishing your own self-defeating thoughts and I know that we have to take our own responsibility for making our own lives what we want them to be. I found writing to be a great form of release as well. Writing is what I'm most passionate about, it comes naturally to me... though I haven't done it for awhile. I'm not sure why. Alas, I'm really happy to hear that life is going well for you. It is certainly a wonderful thing to be surrounded by loving family members and also to be able to find something that you love to do.
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:icononnagata-stock:
I was another one of those kids who were told that I had no talent. My band director even declared this to my parents, in front of me -- as well as all of the other band students and their parents. :blush:

I still feel a vengeful twinge of happiness each time I finish a song. :D

I'm sorry that it took you so long to claw your way out of your depression, but I'm very glad that you did -- even moreso that what you needed for it was something you already loved to do.
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:iconrealityhelix:
realityhelix Jan 27, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I do not have such a personality, I fear.
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:iconlyricalsiren:
I've been suffering with depression for about 6 months but there was alot of circumstances that contributed to bring it on. I've been to the doctor, and they of course want to run and write a script. Although I have heard meds help, I've also hear how they have screwed people up and really affected those who are creative in a negative way artistically. So I opted to not take meds and try a natural approach. The only thing I can say is the only release I find is when I'm painting. So much of my work represents my life and things I have went through, etc.
I just feel better after completing a piece, as if I purged the emotion that was bottled up inside. That and B vitamins seem to take the edge off.
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:icongiligadi:
An interesting question, or set of questions, i guess...
I've been repeatedly diagnosed as bi-polar, anti-social, etc, and i find that my creativity is certainly linked to depression, but the linkage has unpredictable and erratic effects. Luckily for me, i don't depend on any of my various artistic pursuits for income, because if i did, i would often be completely fucked.
perhaps if your friend delved briefly into another of their creative outlets, they might find themselves more inclined to draw.
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:iconmewtwofan:
I'm not really one to talk, as I've never been diagnosed with depression... although I'm almost certain I did have it back in my middle-school years... Suicidal thoughts don't come JUST from hormones. *shiver* Though I'm glad to say I've been past that nasty part of life for quite awhile now.

Although, I don't put much stock in this trend of "you must be cured of every little thing!" that's going on right now. All the really awesome and intelligent people in history had something "wrong" with them. Try to get rid of all those "wrongs" and you'll wind up with a race of brainless pencil-pushers. I'm not saying that all illnesses like depression should be treated in such a way... in some it most certainly does require help and medication, and there's nothing wrong with that... but it just seems like society wants to fly to the extremes all the time. Either it's "all in your head" or it's "zomg it's a disease, cure it!!!1" Some people need to realize that life REQUIRES adversity on some level. And those that can overcome greater adversity often become greater people. ;P

As for myself, right now it's not so much depression as it is creative boredom. I haven't had inspiration to draw anything for quite awhile now. Or when I do draw something I get tired of drawing before I can ever finish it. Bleh.
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:iconlockstock:
Sounds like you've got a low battery so to speak and maybe some time and other pursuits will help recharge your creativity!
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:iconmewtwofan:
I think I need a new battery, it doesn't want to recharge! :XD:
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:iconjobobarikan:
one must distinguish between ego meloncholy and the level of consciousness known as disallusionment.

Ideally the spirit Haephestos would automatically come to your friend and lift his veil, however a cat with white is preventing it-
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:iconkaremelancholia:

You got the point.
I'm bipolar (manic-depressive, this expression is no more used).
It's strange because it depends. When my crisis are high i sometimes can't create, i really don't have the envy, and on the opposite sometimes i can't stop myself creating. Of course darker and darker things.
When i'm quite in a normal mood well i have the envy to create but less darker.
Creating helps a lot, in avoiding crisis and anguishness.
It's terrible to be anguished, to have panic attacks, when you can't control nothing, your body... You need to have something else that occupies your mind, your brain...
That's my life, but by periods, by cycle...
That's the definition of bipolarity...

--

Mourning for L'Abbé Pierre. (learn more about him by clicking this link... he STILL deserving it! Humanity needs such human being).
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