Creative Depression (3/4): Recognise Your Achievements, Overcome and Adapt

“Each time we create we create something beautiful…”

At the end of the day, we are trying to dull a sense of failure. In order to do this, we have to understand what failure truly is. We also have to recognise that we are not failures in the common world. Each time we create we create something beautiful even though we may not see it through our own eyes; we have to learn to understand it in this manner.

A helpful way to dull the sense of failure for myself, is simply to write down my achievements. Perhaps I’ll look at the past week, month or year. Write everything down that you have achieved; and I mean everything. Nine times out of ten I’ll be astonished. I would have forgotten about certain things that perhaps before I hadn’t considered to be achievements, or maybe I forgot I had achieved something within the time frame set.

“…make a decision to ensure you don’t fail…”

It’s best to recognise your achievements to overcome any sense of failure. Think about your own wellbeing, your future and who you are and what you want to be. If we consider failure too much we’ll end up spiralling down again. It helps to understand that if something has gone wrong and you genuinely feel that you have failed then it is so, but make a decision to ensure you don’t fail again in the future; be selfish.

I’m being openly honest by saying that in order to rid a any sense of failure for the future, we have to be selfish. No one should have to suffer through depression, and if you are suffering with depression then there’s only one person who truly can help you to get out of it, and that is yourself. We may often try to fix the past but why not think about how you can fix the future instead?

So this is what I’d like you to do…

1. Get a pen and paper

2. Write down your achievements for the past year

3. Make note of the workflow you used in order to achieve it

4. How was this achievement made similar to others in your life?

5. Adapt it and make it better for the future

If you read my previous post ‘Life vs Creativity (2/4): When in Your Life Were You Most Creative?’, you may find that thinking about when you most creative in your life and how that relates to your achievements will help you to adapt your life in the future in order to overcome any sense of failure.

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.

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.

Creative Depression (1/4): The Need to Create

“…a constant nagging sense of failure…”

Creatives thrive on the need to create, and in order to create there has to be something to achieve that hasn’t already. The drive to create is a constant nagging sense of failure until you have achieved your goal, but once said goal is achieved, we constantly think of the next goal ahead; and until then the sense of failure kicks in again.

A musician like myself may write a new piece of music, and for the few minutes whilst I’m listening to that newly finished piece of music I feel amazing; but what’s next? Instead of taking time to enjoy my achievement, I have an overwhelming desire to write another new piece of music, and until that new piece of music is finished I’ll often subconsciously feel that catastrophic sense of failure.

“…we constantly seek improvement…”

This brutal cycle that many of us may recognise can be the demise of the creative. Our brains constantly think about our next steps and we constantly seek improvement, but rarely recognise how we have improved through our previous works. It’s too easy to be overly critical of ourselves by focussing on the negative rather than the positive; but these feelings can be harnessed. Depression can be adapted and converted into a creative drive in order to cease any form of creative block in the future. That overwhelming sense of failure can actually be manipulated into working for us as creatives, rather than letting it spiral into a pool of self loathing.

“…recognise your need to create…”

Taking the first step to understanding that your creative depression may simply be caused by a need to create may help you to positively change your future. I touched on this previously when talking about ‘Life Vs Creativity’, as when you recognise your need to create, you can make a decision to enable that need, and by doing so you can enable your own success as creatives in the future.

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.