Mental Illness In The Creative Sector - You Are Not Alone

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I was finally diagnosed with OCD, depression, and anxiety earlier this year (I've had problems for many years, been in therapy, CBT, on medication a number of times, but was only properly diagnosed recently). I also suffer with a number of related disorders (Trichotillomania, Impostor Syndrome, etc..), and at various points in my life I've had things like Globus Hystericus, panic attacks, and other things.

I'm currently seeing a psychoanalytic therapist, and trying to sort things out without using medication this time.

It's not surprising to discover that mental health issues are so prevalent in the creative world, but I'm only recently finding out how widespread it is.

I've shared some of this information online in the past, and while sharing hasn't really helped me too much as far as recovery goes, it may have helped others that are suffering to know that they're not alone.

I used to keep it all to myself, but these days I figure that it's more constructive to be open about it.

I hope you're all having a great 50/90!

We're all mad here. You're truly not alone.

kc5's picture

I followed the link you provided above. Its an interesting article. I didn't watch all of the video. In the article, he mentions how differently people respond from any other type of injury or illness than than do mental health issues. I think the reason is that people don't know a lot about it, have a tendency to want to fix things and don't know how to fix mental health issues and the terms (especially when unfamiliar with the diagnosis) can have so many potential variables. I think that makes them uncomfortable, so they don't know how to respond. I think there is a "fixer" type personality that doesn't know what to do with themselves when there is no apparent "fix", so they keep attempting by saying things that aren't helpful to the person who has a diagnosis for which there is not immediate fix. Would you agree that sometimes an acknowledgement that this is who you are and that you're going to have struggles, highs and lows, ups and downs, and to be accepted as you are right now with maybe someone to be there with you through the struggles would be something that would be better than their game plan that they don't understand won't work for your situation or someone pretending things aren't as they are? That's in relation to the article. As far as it being prevalent in the creative sector--What a wonderful outlet of creativity where there is the potential to connect with others in the world who have similar struggles and just need to know they aren't alone in their feelings, thoughts and struggles (so long as it doesn't lead in a dangerous direction)--that by itself can be a comfort--to believe you aren't so terribly different in your thinking, feelings and struggles and music can be so healing to the emotions as well. I say GOOD! The world needs you and you need the outlet.

@PeteMurphy, way to go in taking control of it! May you find substantial relief!

Best of luck, man.
I know how difficult things can be.

@PeteMurphy, I love where you are coming from, sharing again with the desire to potentially ease someone else's way. That's a very compassionate act. Wishing you that same compassion and the best of outcomes from your psychoanalytic therapy. Been there, doing that.

@PeteMurphy Thank you. I have chronic depression. I watched some of the documentary and decided to download. I am doing ok right now. But I know myself and I pop in and out with a hair depression trigger. These attacks come out of nowhere and I try to block such harsh thoughts. I am currently receiving treatment for my depression in medicines and counseling. I find that it helps but I desire even more self-medication (drinking and drugs) because my feelings are so intense at times. I will watch the full video and ask my doctors about this study, and a possible cure. They have to be qualified because I don't want to hear another person tell me I'm no different than they are, and I'm just not dealing with it. They don't know what they are talking about and sometimes do more damage than help. Thanks again.

You're absolutely not alone. Anxiety issues? Every day. Impostor syndrome? With every thing I do. And I've suffered from chronic depression for close on three decades. Medication and a course of cognitive behavioural therapy has helped me tremendously; I still have bad days, but they're nowhere near as bad as they used to be.

We are not alone

*hugs* everyone. <3

a valuable and important thread.. thanks, Pete, for starting it up and thanks everyone else as well...

Yes, yet another reason to be more than civil, --online, proactively.

- gud2post, good for you, cheers!

lifelong sufferer/struggler.... don't be fooled by the insistence of my sense of humour Wink

Oy - that was bad news about the gray matter. I had to stop watching the video - it made me depressed and my brain will shrink even more!

Can't watch these things. It triggers my... well, something, something.

Self-doubt, depression, anxiety etc. are not your friends if you want to share your creative work, but they sure can trigger some strong emotions. And every introvert should have their own extrovert to showcase their work. Wink

For what it's worth, last year's 50/90 resulted in me recording an entire album about my experiences with depression. It proved to be a great way to exorcise demons that had haunted me for years. You can have a listen over at Bandcamp.

hmm. no michael jackson jokes?
@headfirstonly your guitar sounds awesome

Fascinating thread - hits close to home. I read the linked article but didn't watch the video.
I have had anxiety issues for years, beginning in about my late 20s - probably before that, but that's when I began having related physical symptoms like thinking I was having a heart attack. Recently it's flared up again - a few behavior modifications have helped, but I haven't ruled out going to a therapist.
My daughter is in a special school for high-functioning special needs kids, and anxiety is one of the reason's she's there.
Last weekend Bruce Springsteen was on 60 Minutes discussing his recent battle with depression, And I saw another interview with him from a few years back in which he talks about how he has channeled his mental health issues into his music. He was always one of my heroes for both his music and how he has lived his life - even more so now.