Creative Depression (4/4): Find Help For Your Personal Battle

“Breaking through depression can be a very positive experience…”

Depression covers many feelings that through my own experience I would never want anyone else to feel, but at the same time it’s these feelings that make us all human. Breaking through depression can be a very positive experience when taken on in the right manner, but you need to remember to ask for help.

Depression is a very personal thing and it can of course be spoken about with others but speaking rarely leads to the real truths in order to ‘fix’ it. Said truths can simply be too hard to understand by another, or sometimes they may seem fickle or lead to a misunderstanding of the cause or seriousness of the depression. Sometimes it be so convoluted and intricate that there can’t be any understanding due to the ever changing mind-map of someones brain, it can often be hard to summarise thoughts correctly in order to tell someone about them and It takes a very smart mind to do so; this means that we don’t often speak truthfully and openly about depression. We put a mask on in order to hide it, make excuses, or simply not recognise it at all. We don’t want attention but sometimes we need to reach out for a hand in order to gain a better understanding.

“Depression is a personal battles that we fight with every weapon we can get our hands on…”

I often say to people that I like to read a lot of self help books, and this is probably why I write in the way that I do. The reason I read self help is simply for advice. 75% of that advice could be utter nonsense that doesn’t relate to me, but 25% might ring true, and lead to a self revelation that can help me to move forward. Depression is a personal battles that we fight with every weapon we can get our hands on, personally self help enables me to fight that battle perhaps in a way a pill might help another.

Ask for help in your field of work or study, as it’s common that the battles you’re facing have been fought by others in a similar way, but maybe only 25% of their experience is relevant to yours. At least you can take that 25% to ensure you make your own better.

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 (1/4)

“…your standard day to day workings that take up your creative time.”

Many things can get in the way of our creativity. I often refer to this as ‘Life’; by this I mean your standard day to day workings that take up your creative time. If you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to deal with life in such way, then I salute you, you’ve hit the jackpot, but there are so many creatives I know that commonly struggle with this.

Creatives use their talents on a daily basis, but often struggle to create what they really want to themselves. Perhaps they’re a composer working hard writing music for film and television, but would prefer to be writing their own symphony. A cameraman filming daily, yet never directing their own film. A writer/journalist reporting everyday, yet never able to write their own story. I personally spent a year teaching music technology, only wishing the whole time to be making music for myself rather than teaching others.

“…should we really do this to our own detriment?’

Now this may appear selfish. Why have a talent and not use it to help others? This is true, and I agree that we should always help others when we can. We should use what we have learned in life to teach and guide others, but should we really do this to our own detriment? I recently had a conversation with someone about this such subject, people who study in order to go straight into teaching. It is something I can’t quite comprehend, as we all need to experience life in one way or another before passing on our experiences, and when moving straight into teaching after study, when have we had the time to experience the real world? Teaching is certainly a great way to earn a living and find fulfillment, but what does it cost in terms of our own creativity? Does it allow us to truly be creative for ourselves?

I’m not going to concentrate on teaching but thinking about that time in my life led me review my own ‘creative life’. I began to map out when I had been the most creative and what I was doing at that moment. Previously I’ve spoken about Planning Creativity which has been the first step to making sure I allow myself to be creative, but in the past I hadn’t needed to plan. It led me to think; “Why was that?”.

“…is it going to be a never ending battle between the two?’

As we grow older life begins to throw more and more our way. We may find a day job that we enjoy to earn our keep or a partner share our time with as we being to settle down. We begin to consider what the future holds for us, but where in that future is our creativity? Is there enough space to allow life and creativity to live happily side by side or is it going to be a never ending battle between the two?

This is a question that we have to decide for ourselves as it will never naturally sway either way. It involves our own discipline to get things done; to plan ahead and choose our own path in the creative world.

If you’re like me, and have decided for certain that you want creativity to be part of your life in a more established way, then over the next few blogs I’ll be going through a few steps I’m taking in order to achieve this. It involves dedication, discipline, time, organisation, inspiration, willingness, sacrifice, energy, and above all –  Patience.