depression + creativity

There is a distinct relationship between depression and creativity. Much of the history of the arts is littered with depressed people who use the extremes of their emotional range as a force behind their creative output.

But why is it that most creative individuals are chronically depressed? Is there some chemical link between the structure of creative thought and the state we regard as depression? Or is it that the psychological architectures of the human mind simple contemplate reality at a deeper level when induced by depression.

What this leads to is a question of the role that depression plays in the evolution of both the individual mind and the collective evolution of culture. If we are capable of erasing depression, if man attains a state where no real negative emotional impact is experienced, then how will we continue to grow as a species/culture? If we “cure” depression then who will write the next Wasteland, direct the next Citizen Kane, paint the next Starry Night.

We may be forced to listen to elevator music, starring blankly at pointless abstract watercolors, wondering nothing and simply being content with life. I hope to be dead before then.


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