Creative Depression (2/4): When Two Worlds Collide

“A sense of failure comes in all walks of life…”

The people I most commonly meet on a day to day basis who suffer from depression are often creatives. Now this probably isn’t an original idea but something that crossed my mind significantly after multiple conversations, however there aren’t many people who aren’t creative in some shape or form. A sense of failure comes in all walks of life: Failure to full-fill your job role, failure in a relationship or marriage, failure as a parent or a friend; all will lead to the same feelings of hopelessness we can all recognise.

I personally find that if a ‘non-creative’ person is suffering from depression that it can often be dramatic, this may be due to the fact that they are not used to it; it may be completely alien to them to feel this way as there may be less room for error in their lives. As creatives daily failure is common, as the life of a creative enables more chances for failure over achievement, and we often thrive on searching for the errors that need to be fixed in creative ways; it’s why we’re called creatives.

“When you combine that striking blow at the same time as the creatives day-to-day sense of failure it can be life threatening”

The hardest part is when the worlds of a creative and a non-creative collide, and what I mean by this is that we all have to deal with life as much as any other person. A non-creative may not deal with the sense of failure as commonly as a creative does, but that sense of failure comes like a striking blow. When you combine that striking blow at the same time as the creatives day-to-day sense of failure it can be life threatening; and I don’t say that lightly. It can be absolutely devastating when everything mounts into an uncontrollable train of thought.

“…make a decision to change…”

Being creative at this stage can be horrible, as our creative brains simply try to come up with new ideas constantly to fix the error, but not coming up with the solution you need can simply lead to a never ending spiral of hopelessness and even more depression. A starting point to this may be to make a decision to change, and recognise that for this to stop happening in the future that we need to overcome and adapt our lives for a positive outcome.

I have no training in Clinical Depression, and these articles or any other I write are not done via official research into the subject, but simply a personal opinion on how depression can often relate to creative people.

Life vs Creativity (4/4): Make a Decision

This feels to me to be the perfect time to write this. I’ve recently been finishing my Human Imperfections EP, and if you follow my posts you will notice that I’ve had to delay it’s official release due to illness; illness partly caused by stress. This illness lead to me not being able to sit down and do the final mixes comfortably, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t rushing the process for the sake of it… Thus begins the final blog post regarding ‘Life vs Creativity’.

“…consider which is more important.”

At the end of the day, in order to be creative we need to have the time to do so. In order to do this we may need to reconsider what’s more important; creativity or life? It’s a decision that I’ve made over and over again, and this can lead to some awkward situations. Perhaps work is getting in the way? Well then work needs to change. Perhaps social time with friends is getting in the way? True friends will be understanding and supportive. Perhaps you’ve been successful with creativity and it’s lead to being so busy being creative for someone else, that you can’t be creative for yourself perusing the true career you desire. Consider each thing, and consider which is more important.

“…you will benefit, and those around you will also benefit.”

Making the decision to allow time for your creativity will benefit you both creatively and emotionally. If creativity is important, and you’re not getting to be creative, you will likely dive into a pit of depression, possibly un-aware of the cause; and this could be it. If you make the decision of which is more important to you then you will benefit, and those around you will also benefit. I often find myself apologising if I’m in a mood, as often it’s down to not having the time to be creative and do the thing I really love. Without becoming too self-loathing, really think about how what you do affects the people around you, and what you should do to improve that affect.

“…allow yourself the downtime after the fact; otherwise you will burn out…”

To add to this, as I have learned you need to realise if you’re trying to do too much at once. We can all make the time, but are we allowing time for rest and de-stress from life? It is as important to rest as it is to do the things we love. Creativity is work. This obviously depends on your personal opinion of whether creativity is simply a hobby or your career, but despite the outcome it involves huge amounts of brain power to be creative, and you need to allow yourself the downtime after the fact; otherwise you will burn out and find you are unable to achieve the things you wanted to achieve originally. There is only so much the body can take.

“…we need to realise that sometimes we need to do what we want to do.”

Whenever you make these decisions, you will immediately see spikes in your creativity and productivity. Stress and anxiety can often hold us back from doing what we want to do as we don’t believe we need to do it. For our own mental health and well-being we need to realise that sometimes we need to do what we want to do. So it’s time to make a decision that counts, and follow through with it. We only have ourselves to blame for any dry spell in creativity, but don’t allow that blame to last and get you down or get in the way. Take action and move forward.