Being Creative and coping with mental illness

In the spirit of the Coen Brothers, I’m writing about my current creative block. Today I am supposed to be writing music for a short film for an old friend. Alas I have given up as nothing is flowing from me. But why?

I make no secret that I suffer from depression and have been on medication for it for many years now. My depression is managed by using an SSRI which stops any serotonin being reabsorbed back into the brain. However, some of my symptoms are never far away, the main one at the moment is a general feeling of fatigue. This is manifesting physically and mentally at the moment. There’s only so much one can do to lift your own spirits and sometimes it’s impossible. This is particularly tough when we work in the creative industries and we need to have that creativity on tap.

Today is one of those days where nothing is working and I’ve given up. I feel bad, I want to get this music written and the film finished. Thankfully this is a freebie and there’s no delivery date or deadline to meet. It’s incredibly frustrating. Is there any I can do? That’s a genuine question as I don’t know of any technique beyond the usual ones books and doctors will suggest to people with depression.

This Wikipedia page looks at the link between being creative and having a mental illness. It’s something that I’ve wondered for a long time as all the people that I know with any form of mental illness appear to be of a creative temperament. This is, of course, anecdotal. However, it does look like some serious research is being done to explore this link.

As Winston Churchill said, I need to KBO (Keep Buggering On).

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