Anxiety and Depression is something that can effect anyone, it isn’t exclusive. However, there is a certain type of person that it seems to effect more: The creative, the artists, musicians, actors, and writers of the world. People whom we deem to be “creative” are people that almost always seem to have some form of anxiety or depression. So why is that? Why is the “Tortured Artist” such a clear and predominant trope in the world of art? Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, Marilyn Monroe, Kristen Bell, Chester Bennington; people who’s difficulties with these traits are well known.
Are these people anxious because they’re creative; or creative because they’re anxious? Well according to Charles Linden, CEO of Linden Centers, the creative has a particular way of thinking that makes them prone to such things.
“anxiety sufferers all share a superior level of creative intellect. moreover as a distinct range of both physical and mental attributes affecting creativity, emotional sensitivity and clarity, eccentricity, creative energy and drive.”
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According to many psychologists, the “tortured artist” is someone who is capable of channeling their anxieties into the right places. They find a way to to turn their social anxieties, depressive feelings, and disorders in general; into something truly amazing and beautiful. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Art in general is an expressive form of emotions, and people with anxiety and depression are people who are feeling A LOT of emotions, all of the time. I absolutely love this article in Psychology Today where psychologist, Dennis Palumbo, writes:
difficult emotional terrain is where an artist lives much of the time—in a matrix of triumphs and defeats, optimism and despair, impassioned beliefs and crushing deflations. In the end, it’s all just grist for the creative mill.
As artists these emotions, pains, and fears aren’t just our battlegrounds; they’re our inspiration. Feelings of anger, sadness, despair, worthlessness, pity, loss, confusion, betrayal; we take those feelings and we mold them into art. Who we are and what we feel becomes a wellspring of creative thoughts and ideas.
Depression and anxiety is hard to live with, and most people will never be able to understand your feelings. But it isn’t “bad”; it just. . . “Is”. You don’t have to throw yourself into uncomfortable situations in an effort to “improve”. You don’t need to be ashamed of who you are or what you feel. It’s just you. Let YOU come through in your work, because the most beautiful things are created out of adversity.
Anxiety is something that will never truly go away, we just find ways to beat it. Instead of letting it linger behind you like a shadow, bring it forward and face it head on. You might be surprised by what comes out of it. You got this.
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