TED Conversations

Mary Saville

Educator - STEM, ACTS Homeschool Teaching Support

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

How can creativity and chronic depression coexist?

Ever since I spent my 18th birthday in a psychiatric ward, I've struggled with chronic depression. I'm 35 now and don't feel defined at all by such an unwelcome mental companion since I have many coping strategies including medication. In this phase of life I am learning, creating and innovating at a much faster rate than in many previous years and would like to know how others handle having a mind that can rapidly sponge knowledge and churn out fun ideas one part of the day, and need to close down another part of the day.

I find that if I spend a few hours "producing" with my brain I often need a subsequent reboot of sorts - a retreat into quiet, a nap, a shutting down - before I can begin again.

Sometimes I have to stop and let sadness have a turn. Working late at night is helpful. Why? I'm not sure.

This is quite relevant to me and I would appreciate any thoughts, tips, or musings on the subject. Are you coping well with depression and still enjoying creativity? Do you have a helpful pattern of work to share?

Thanks everyone, this is a great forum.

+7
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 27 2011: That is a very interesting way of viewing depression Anna. I'm not sure I want mine cured anymore as much as i would rather have it managed instead. :) I do agree with you in that one does focuse more in one self when one is depressed and that in turn does cause one's mind to comme up with a bevy of stories, images and all sorts of original ideas that would have value (to quote Sir Ken Robbinson) How ever my problem (and I'm sure I'm not alone here) is that while being deppressed does triger a world of ideas in my head the very same depressed state keeps me from actually lifting a pen or keyboard or even a phone to get assistance in bringing that idea to life. That in turn causes a whole effect of guilt and just makes matters worse. Truth be told in the end the idea is ussually rescued but it takes a lot longer than i guess it would take someone feeling with more drive to take action into its ideas. if any of you get what im saying feel free to dispense your srategies on how to manage it better. Take care Anna. Good day to all.
    • thumb
      Mar 28 2011: What if that time when those ideas are created, but not realized, are like the winter in the Nordic garden. A lot is going on under the surface of the earth and inside roots and trees, but nothing visible. Everything seems dead. But when the season changes, like the mood might change and the depression leaves your system, new things sprout. And they have a certain quality because of the season change, that no garden in tropical conditions, that never experience this have. Here in Sweden many are depressed during winter and suddenly come alive as spring and summer arrive.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.