Depression and Creativity
As someone who always has new ideas for projects and things I want to create it was extremely worrying and upsetting when my creativity seems to vanish. I realized this was happening over a few months, starting in August 2017 and it took me a few months to link my feelings together.
With the support of my boyfriend at the time I managed to open up to my mum about my negative and on going feelings, going to the doctors the next day at the start of October. I was hoping for help and support with these feelings that were so unknown to me, instead I was offered tablets and to come back 3 months later. I thought, like I’d seen on TV and movies that these anti- depressants would transform me into the person I previously was and fill the currently dark world in my eyes with rainbows and self love, how wrong I was. I was told it would take a few weeks for my anti depressants to start working, so I gave myself 2 weeks to almost relax and try to be stress free, watching my favourite programs and eatings as I pleased. I couldn’t even look at doing art of anything creative which was a completely knew feeling for me. I sadly started to realise that these tablets were not going to be the easy fix I had first hoped for. They made the days more bearable, I was able to get some sleep and have hours of not feeling completely drained and useless.
I’ve always seen articles about artists and how their depression and unstable mental health allowed them to create their best work, Artists such as Tracey Emin, Amy Winehouse or Ian Curtis, who I admire greatly. But this wasn’t me, I felt I’d let myself down. Not that I ever wanted to be in a depressive state but if I created something out of it then at least it would have some advantage . My life from September till January wasn’t blissful. I couldn’t sleep, didn’t feel like doing anything. Any art I created angered me as I felt it was of a low and boring standard. I kept trying but wasn’t interested or inspired enough to really delve deep into my art.
I had no ideas, no creative flare, nothing. For the first time in my life I felt let down by the ideas that has previously bombarded my head. I thought that maybe it was never going to come back, that my education was ruined and finished.
Finally, from February 2018 my mental health started to improve, not miles or leaps but little bits like being able to sleep and deal with negative thoughts of my own work.
So I have learned a lot in this last year about depression and creativity and how to deal with both on a middle ground. It’s just learning to deal with it and not forcing creativity, this only makes you more frustrated, try and be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to figure stuff out. Being open to the changes and Kind to myself.
Looking back on this academic year, I feel very proud of myself for not giving in and giving myself time to learn what triggers me and my negative thoughts. I feel I have learned a hella lot about myself as a person in both my mental state and the strength I had to keep going as well as the creativity that flows through me.
This is not a happy ending, I am still a long way from being happy and feeling ‘normal’ or ‘myslef again’ but I know I had a period of being rock bottom and I have made it through. I am far from an expert, I am only 19! I am still unstable, having days I do nothing but cry, but these are now followed by days I enjoy with friends and family.
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