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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Do depressed writers take their writing more seriously than the non-depressed?

In my opinion, writers suffering from depression do take their writing more seriously than the non-depressed. The depressed person probably takes many aspects of life more seriously than do the non-depressed. They tend to see the world in black and white terms. Or, maybe they are more deeply affected by various aspects of life. A person suffering from depression does not see the world objectively. He sees it in a very personal way--a negative way.

Some forms of depression can be combated with talk therapy, because the person's views of the world are warped by some kind of misconception. Clear up the misconception, and the depression clears up. Some forms of depression are caused by traumatic experiences that the sufferer has to work through to clear up the depression. The key is that, eventually, they both find relief. But the chronic sufferer of depression, the one who's disease is caused by brain chemistry, has a different problem. Talk therapy isn't going to clear up her depression. It may help her to deal with the depression better, but the depression will continue. Somehow, brain chemistry has to be improved, and only drugs can do that. But drugs which relieve depression have side affects that can be depressing in themselves (if not depressing, then aggravating.)

The writer may suffer any of these types of depression, which will affect the way she views her writing. The story can be an attempt to understand her depression without talking about it directly (she may not even realize she's suffering from depression). The writing becomes a kind of therapy, which may be successful in relieving her depression. Her entire writing career can be a method of dealing with her depression, which might save her from suicide. I think depressed people tend to be obsessive; for writers, the obsessiveness probably flows into their writing. If their writing is a form of therapy and the therapy doesn't work, they may see suicide as the only way out.
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