Creativity and Depression

              All creatives get depressed. For reasons I can’t explain, creative people tend to have high highs and low lows. The highs help them create what they call their symphonies. However, the lows can be dreadful. What is creativity and how does it work? Why can we be creative at one moment then depressed the next moment? Why does this happen?

              Creativity comes and goes at strange times. Sometimes it’ll come at weird hours in the night. Or sometimes it’ll come when you’re out on a walk. Or sometimes it’ll come when you stop caring about the stresses that are trying to bring you down. Creativity is a strange creature. Unfortunately, I have never heard of a creative person who doesn’t have lows from time to time. What goes up must come down and vice versa. Do these lows play a role in our creativity? Can we control the depressive states at all or mitigate the downside?

              I look at creativity and depression as a package deal. That’s the sad truth. No one is super up all the time. So we need something to bring us back to ground level. That may be where depression comes in. You can’t have one without the other. The faster you realize this, the easier it is to deal with the depression. You see it as a necessary evil. The magic does not last forever. I look at depression as a way to recharge that magic. Yes, I’ve experienced depression. But to my knowledge it’s not severe. And every time I get it for a couple days or so, I always snap out of it at some point. I wish I could say it was in my control to snap out of it, but it’s not. I can’t control it. I just have to take it and know that sooner or later the magic will come back to me.

              Yes the lows can be dreadful. But the highs are where I am my best self. This is where I have the most creative energy and enthusiasm for life. When these moments happen, I try to take advantage of them as much as I can. I sometimes have stayed up all night just knowing that the magic doesn’t last forever. I want to get as much juice out of that magic as possible. Check out the blog I wrote on this topic here. It dives deeper on taking advantage of the magical creative times.

              I say magical because that’s what it seems like. You get into the zone. The flow state. Where everything around you stops and all you can think about and recognize is the task at hand. Maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s editing, maybe it’s working on your business, or maybe it’s a marketing scheme. You know the flow state when you are in it. So take advantage of it when you are.

              Depression comes and goes just like creativity comes and goes. After going through both states several times, I get a lot of comfort out of having both states. Again, I look at it as a package deal. But I wouldn’t change that package for another one. What’s the alternative? To not be creative? No thank you! Over time, I’ve gotten better at dealing with the depressive states and learned how to take advantage of the creative states. But I wouldn’t change that duo for the world. The creative states I’ve been in have helped me make leaps in my work, personal life, relationships, and hobbies. Without those creative states, I wouldn’t be the person who I am. And as for the depressive states, there isn’t much self-sabotage or anything. It’s simply a low energy, low mood state. They don’t last long. So I’ve learned to deal with it since I know a creative state is just around the corner. And this gives me comfort.

              Creativity and depression. You can’t have one without the other. Some people won’t admit this. But when you think about it, it makes sense. We can’t expect ourselves or someone else to be high all the time. They will inevitably come down. And when they do come down, they will inevitably go right back up. Find peace in knowing you have this package if you consider yourself a creative person. I know I’ve learned to love myself for who I am because of the highs. And the lows are just the cost of the highs. An easy price to pay for a creative mind.


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