Does mental illness produce best creative material?

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Re: Does mental illness produce best creative material?

Post by slickview » 23 Aug 2015, 09:51

I have seen great examples of work, but what is the classification of illness and the degree, is it society or observable behaviour or the dsm v that decides?

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Post by rssllue » 23 Aug 2015, 09:59

Not that I have ever seen.
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Post by ksinev44 » 23 Aug 2015, 13:23

I don't think that mental illness directly impacts your creativity but I do think that there is a strong causality. My theory is that creativity happens best when there is some sort of tension in the person's mind. When there is a problem that causes you to focus on it and then the "aha" moment happens, producing a creative solution. So, I believe most creativity happens as the result of a tension that is made when the current solutions are incapable of navigating you through the circumstance at hand. This results in the need for new solutions. So I think mentally ill people may tend to be more creative as a result of consistently struggling with how to cope and manage their life but that is not necessarily always the case. But the challenges mentally ill people face when trying to cope in society more than likely presents more opportunities to experience the tension that ultimately produces creative solutions.

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Post by zeldas_lullaby » 23 Aug 2015, 13:24

Hm... that's really insightful!!

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Post by Ursula_Minor » 11 Sep 2015, 08:34

I really don't think so. My community is made mostly of people who write (in a variety of genres, to greater and lesser degrees of success), and while a large percent of them do struggle with something akin to mental illness, most of them are outside of mental illness proper. They (and myself, really)have struggles with anxiety, depression, managing stress levels, etc, but aren't (for the most part) mentally ill. Of two people that I know personally (entirely anecdotal, I know) that *are* mentally ill, or have been in the past, one is a strong writer with the usual feelings of self-doubt, and the other writes the worst, most cliched, nonsensical poetry I have ever consumed, but is convinced that he's a genius waiting to be discovered. Anyway, my community may not be representative, of course!
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Post by idreamofbooks » 17 Oct 2015, 11:11

Having a mental illness can be incredibly complicated - it complicates your mind, your work life, your personal life. I think those with a mental illness who have insight into their illness also have a depth of their own being that others might not. Over personal years of therapy I find that I have more insight into myself and my illness and while I don't think of myself as especially creative, I occasionally get urges to write it all down. I sometimes wonder if I could write a book.
I think writing by those with a mental illness shed insight into our own lives. Things we don't want to admit about ourselves but that they are willing to share because they've suffered so much and want to help others.

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Post by KLewington » 31 Oct 2015, 10:35

It depends how down I am, sometimes I haven't the energy to write but other times it helps to write. Creativity is a massive healer of mental illness.

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Post by Amorlina » 12 Nov 2015, 21:27

I agree, I am a bipolar person and I do a lot of drawing,painting, digital art and sketching and I am also fond of singing so I think that I am creative specially when I have had my manias

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Post by bibliophile99 » 25 Nov 2015, 16:11

I think that mental illness may produce more creative material becouse the person suffering has a unique way of looking at the world.

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Post by JackFranz » 12 Jan 2016, 04:31

Mental illness sucks and doesn´t help writing at all. Sure best writers might suffred from several mental disorders but being sick is painfull, awefull, it prevents you from living your life, to feel alive. So even though you might write some good and profiund stuff while feeling depressed it´s not worth it at all.

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Post by FreebieAddict15 » 25 Jan 2016, 02:35

I suffer from depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD and I always feel the urge to write something to express how I am feeling rather than speaking to someone. Poetry was a big outlet for me and shortly after I became more in tune with my creative side and wanted to color and create things. On the other hand, when my illnesses are at their worst, I don't feel like crawling out of bed, much less anything else. I do tend to connect more with the darker, melancholy poems, songs and art though.

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Post by Wanton_Wordsmith » 24 Feb 2016, 21:01

Oddly enough, I tend to write a lot of comic material when I'm angry, not when I'm depressed. I have depression and take meds for it. When I'm really down, I just write "Woe is me" crap that I later destroy. People don't want to read it, or only in very small amounts. Writing does make the depression bearable, though. It gets out my grief.

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Post by anamcara » 25 Feb 2016, 02:13

I think mental state does influence a person's writing. Whenever I'm depressed or sad, that is when I am able to write most easily. And look at Alfred Lord Tennyson! He was "manic depressive" or what we know today as Bipolar Disorder and he wrote some great stuff like Charge of the Light Brigade, The Lady of Shalott, Morte D'Arthur... (and he was my great great great great grandpa!) :D
"Of the knowledge of man, nothing is more unintelligible than the
human heart."


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Post by tortoise keeper » 05 Mar 2016, 17:15

I have worked as a mental health nurse for many years. It is true that many creative people have a history of mental illness. Individuals who are bipolar often report that they are the most creative, productive, and energetic during a manic phase. It is sometimes difficult to get people to take their medications because of this. Unfortunately, our bodies can't maintain this kind of high for very long before we crash and often become severely depressed.
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Post by Chasity23 » 07 Mar 2016, 09:11

Yes I believe so. I am a true fan of psychological thrillers and when any character has some form of mental illness it lures me into the authors work.

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