There's a strange link between creativity and depression. Lots of creative geniuses suffered from depression. And we're not talking just feeling blue, but that black hole of emotional wretchedness that grabs you and tries to pull you in.
I've suffered from depression since high school. My mom has it. My grandmother had it. And we're all creative. I take anti-depressants to help control it. Some argue against this practice, and I will say that I think doctors over-prescribe anti-depressants. They're not a cure-all and for some people, they can make things even worse. But they have made a huge difference in my life.
Speaking from past experience, when I have tried to go off my anti-depressants (when I was pregnant), I landed right back in that black hole. And there's nothing quite like it. It's scary. It's like being a pebble in a massive rock slide. You just tumble along, knowing that you're headed toward the ravine. The anti-depressants can often miraculously pluck you out of that rock slide and put you on firmer ground. They did for me.
There's tons of research and articles on creativity and depression. Some artists can't work while they are depressed. Some work their best. I'm with the former group. When I was depressed, I couldn't gather the energy or the motivation to do much else but just sit on the couch and mindlessly watch t.v.
I feel depressed right now. It's been lingering in me for the past two or three weeks. I think a lot of it is work-related. We're suffering from a heavy workload and I feel burn out edging its way in. But I'm also depressed over the writing rejections. The frustration. And even though I've wanted to work on my writing, I really have had to force myself to do it.
Maybe I just need a change of scenery. Maybe I just need a different job. Or maybe, I just need a month-long vacation!
I don't like feeling this way, and I know hubby doesn't like it, either! I want to be driven to write. I want to be driven to succeed at my job. I want to feel like my mind isn't going in a thousand different directions. I want to smile more.
I see the light at the end of the tunnel. That gives me hope. Before the anti-depressants, there was no light, only a dark shadow of nothingness. Now I just feel like I need to climb this mountain and once I do that, all will be right with the world. The trick is to discover what, exactly, this mountain is. The job? The writing? The day-do-day financial struggles? The kids? All of it rolled into one?
I told my husband last night I wanted to run away. Not for good, mind you, but just for a couple of weeks. I'm thinking Italy might do the trick. ;-)
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