Does mental illness produce best creative material?

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Re: Does mental illness produce best creative material?

Post by thaservices1 » 29 Apr 2018, 10:22

I found, personally, that poetry particularly comes to me most when I am low or upset. This used to bother me. Over the years I've found though this has more to do with activity. If I am in truely happy headspace, I'm usually engaged in a fun activity and writing is not on the current agenda. If I am sitting around all wrapped up in my head, writing becomes the activity.
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Post by gen_g » 04 May 2018, 01:03

I think this would depend on the person in question, as it wouldn't be accurate to blankly claim that mental illness produces the best creative writing - for some, yes, and no for others.

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Post by Nmadinachi Egwim » 04 May 2018, 08:55

This issue of mental disorders and creativity is not quite so hard to comprehend. True, one mustn't be victim to a mental issue (M.I) to be able to create "quality" work. I put the quality in quotes because it's definition is actually relative and encapsulates more than this context requests. Are we here defining quality in terms of excellent literary structure, or actual heartfelt content which is often the case with creative people with M.I.? Let's take art as case study here. There's a silent controversy among millennial artists I've noticed about what quality or good art should entail. There's the new trend of realistic/hyper-realistic art and you'll find many using that as criterion for how upcoming artists should create, and if that continues, it would be a huge glitch in the whole essence of art. Emotional expression is a core essence of art and not merely its aesthetic value, although I'm not writing that off, you know, for the sake of good draughtsmanship. Sorry I went off that way but the point I wanted to bring out is that, quality, more often than not, has more than one definition in creative context. So, if you're asking for quality in terms of wholehearted, heartfelt and deep content, without necessarily all literary structural elements intact, a creative person with mental issues/disorder has an edge in creating that "quality" for the apparent reasons: experience, insight and a certain perspective.

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Post by bwill93 » 15 May 2018, 16:37

That depends on the person I think. There is some incredibly brilliant artwork, music, dance, and literature that would not exist if not for the creator going to some very dark places. Mental illness provides a unique lens for an artist to draw from, for example I don't think Nevermind would have been such a dark and powerful album if Kurt Cobain had not been clinically depressed, but at the same time many mentally ill artists either go insane or commit suicide. Plus, there has been some fantastic art produced by artists who were in a happy place, so it really just depends on the person.

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Post by gkgurley » 03 Jun 2018, 22:26

That is such an interesting point. I definitely produce the most when I'm on the verge of a depressive episode, but when I'm at my worst, I can't do anything. At my best, I think with a clear head, and I can channel what I've felt at any emotional stage and use that. I do think that people with mental illnesses experience a deeper, broader emotional range that can fuel quality work, but not necessarily when people are at their sickest.

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Post by elliebelle2018 » 03 Jun 2018, 23:37

yes, they can. where they can make the dreams into reality. they can produce creative things.when they are lonely and happp they can make a song they can make a novel that will create a happy theme novel
brilliant people that can produce unique and can catch the curiousity of the readers and the listeners

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Post by Archerjen11 » 08 Jun 2018, 17:51

Personally when I am inspired to do so, I have a great enthusiasm for writing. Usually my best most descriptive poems come from mania, just because I feel my emotions more intensely and have a greater ability to use vocabulary that is eccentric and colorful.

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Post by Quintaral15 » 10 Jun 2018, 05:39

I believe mental illness produces the best material. When authors are mentally ill, they are able to appeal to others who can relate and can make readers dealing with an illness feel that they are not alone. Additionally, I believe it feels good when you can relate to a book and who better to appeal to the mentally Ill then those who actually have an illness?

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Post by KurtissL1 » 10 Jun 2018, 13:03

I've been writing poetry and songs for about 8 or 9 years now, and I've kept most everything I've written in that time. When I was struggling with depression and intense bouts of anxiety, I felt a creative surge — I was writing two to five poems a day for days on end. When I'm not in a slump or when my depression isn't at its worst, I tend to write less, but I've found the quality of my work is much higher. What I've found within the creative community (poetry, more specifically,) is that there's a sort of love affair with the desperate, the hurt, and profoundly sad, etc. However, I do not think that mental illness produces the best creative material. You can write an excellent piece or create a beautiful painting when suffering and perhaps this will touch thousands of viewers because we can all relate to a desperate feeling, we can all relate to hurt and to the more common aspects of mental influence (generally speaking), but when something is driven by a mental illness it can also get lost in that mentality of distraught. Emotion doesn't rule art, rather, art rules emotion. To say that you create more or better due to your mental illness is to take power away from your work when you aren't experiencing the effects of said illness. Artists love a sob-story, but what people are looking for in art is beauty, and beauty does not always need to be something negative. Granted, having a mental illness doesn't mean that you aren't creating positive pieces for your audience, but in my experience, it would seem that most artists who suffer from depression, or bipolar, or anxiety, etc., tend to focus on the more negative aspects...I try to live artistically through this phrase from Kurt Vonnegut: "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'if this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'" I think this quote is a beautiful concept because while the inspiration and experiences we derive from our illnesses can be life-changing, beautiful and profound, the same can be said of those happier and healthier moments in our lives.

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Post by KatSims92 » 07 Jul 2018, 09:15

I'd think so, but it would depend on how far into your recovery you are. Studies have shown that those of us with depression have better, deeper life perspectives, and those with anxiety have the capacity to feel deeper. I personally think those are necessary ingredients to create something worthwhile. Not to mention, a huge number of creative people have had some form of mental illness.

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Post by abilene_johnston » 16 Jul 2018, 02:03

I’d say that definitely when I’m in a certain mood, my mind gets pretty creative. I never have to think too hard about the words I put down and instead focus on the emotions I am feeling.

However, I wouldn’t say that it is necessary to have mental illness to produce the best material. Nobody is guaranteed to be inspired every moment of the day. Most of the time for myself, inspiration comes at the randomest of times, and it gives me motivation to portray my emotions.

This is not to say that the material produced by authors and such with mental illnesses is not any less beautiful.

I think that yes, many artists with mental illnesses produce exceptionally creative works. And that yes, people without mental illnesses are also capable of creating beautiful pieces. I believe it all just depends on when you find the inspiration. :)

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Post by Charlyt » 22 Oct 2018, 01:46

I think that yes, it can produce certain creative materials whether it's in writing, art, music, etc. And whatever you create is a reflection of what is going inside your mind. Whether it is the "best" or not is subjective. But I think it's good that a person with mental illness has a source of output. I just think it's sad that sometimes the audience can appreciate the art more rather than the artist.
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Post by Thokchom Alice » 16 Nov 2018, 11:13

I don't think that mental illness would produce good creative work. I believe that having difficulties yet facing bravely produce it.
A joke is to entertain people. If it fails to do so, it's something else!

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Post by karamel » 06 Dec 2018, 15:01

I was recently looking over some of my earlier writing and poetry--written when I was depressed and lonely--and while I did write a lot, I don't think it was the best work I've done. Like you, the common themes in them were hopelessness and desperation; things that can become something beautiful when written about, just not necessarily when written about in that state of mind.

As others have mentioned, my writing output seemed to increase while I was in a low mood, though I wouldn't say that the quality was exceptional or better than times when I'm not depressed.

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Post by Swat3737 » 21 Jan 2019, 13:03

jkclay1 wrote:
21 Dec 2014, 01:10
A lot of the greatest artist were all a little bit crazy. I feel that to create we all have to be a little crazy in our own way. How else can we create things that no one else can even began to comprehend it's origins?
I agree! And I’ll take it a step further, I think that people who are creative geniuses, it’s that creativity that can lead to mental illness, not the other way around. Sometimes if that creativity is stifled as a child, it can lead to anxiety or depression later in life. There could be lots of explanations.
"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." - Friedrich Nietzsche

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