Creativity and depression. Is it true?

December 16, 2014

Is there a relationship between creativity and depression? This question arises from countless experiences of famous novelists and writers who confessed to have suffered from depression. In the history of literature, indeed, there are many examples of writers affected by depression.


We can quote Hans Christian Andersen, the famous Danish author of fairy tales for children, Isaac Asimov, the Russian professor and author of books written in English; William Blake, British Poet; Truman Capote, American writer famous to have written Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Iris Chang, Chinese writer and historian, David Chase, American writer, Joseph Conrad, Polish writer; Charles Dickens, British writer, Franz Kafka, Czech writer; Susanna Kaysen, American writer, John Keats, British poet, Marian Keyes, Irish writer, Stephen King, the famous American horror novelist, and in order to conclude this long list of depressed people, Virginia Wolf( see the image), British novelist affected by bipolar disorder for all her life.

Now, we are sure that you felt scared by this list of depressed authors, but depression affects also other people, in any field. If it is true that this mental illness frequently occurs in famous people, we are induced to reflect about the relationship between creativity and depression. According to many researches, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance of the brain. It is probable some authors suffer from depression because they are very sensitive people. Indeed, only a very sensitive person can observe reality carefully and use it to write a book.

However, this observation doesn’t mean that to write a successful book each writer must suffer from depression. We believe creativity is a gift of God and we also think that as the Maker, God was not depressed when He created the Universe and the World. Hence, it is useful you don’t feel depressed when you write a book, because the best ideas are only developed in a mental condition made of peace, serenity and happiness.

It is also probable that as an author you feel depressed when no-one understands your talent and your efforts to create a book, but in this case, depression is fully needless and also harmful. Remember: every once you feel your talent refused, don’t feel uncomforted, but get up and try over and over again. This is the unique medicine to heal depression which sometimes affects those people who work as writers.


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