Bill smithies Posted almost 3 years ago How can creativity and chronic depression coexist? My age and experience of depression are seemingly very close to yours Mary. One of the most interesting experiences I have had in relation to creativity and depression was a little more than a year ago when I had my first encounter with anti-depressants; to cut a long story short I ceased to be creative at all. I have a great many friends who are also artists and some have had the same experience upon taking medication to treat either anxiety or depression. A friend of mine came to realize that his badly depressive states were usually a precursor to coming up with a great idea, that his mind somehow needed to go into hibernation in order to devote more energy to it's maturation even if he wasn't cognizant of it at the time. Years ago I read one psychologists view that a 'healthy' depression is the minds way of telling us that we need to change, to do something differently, and an 'unhealthy' depression is when we are not able to effect that change for whatever reason and we become stuck. Your observation about the need to "reboot" struck a real chord with me and, in relation to that, I think the three observations become very valid. My experiences with medication did not 'cure' me, but having the creative well dry up on me and then slowly come back made me more aware of the role of depressive states in my own creative process. The nature of creativity, to me, is a constant state of metamorphosis; changes in our ideas, our materials, our subject matter, the way we look at something, all are in a constant state of flux as a necessity. I don't think it takes any great stretch of the imagination to view the need for the reboot as a necessary step our brains go through in order to explore new ideas or subject matter in a wholly unconscious manner. As various other people have mentioned, this is not isolated to artists but to thinkers in general including politicians, philosophers, scientists and psychologists.