Creativity and Mental Illness
Published: 8 November, 2018
Creativity is both a gift and a burden. The spark of genius that attaches itself to the creative mind also burdens it with knowledge that to be creative is to be different. As such, mental illness and creativity can be seen to be located on the same spectrum – where thinking that deviates from the norm is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. As a design student learning to navigate this challenging terrain, the journey is often frustrating. However, mental illness and creativity are not synonymous, and they should not be treated as such. Creativity, and creative thinking, is, in fact, a powerful tool against mental illness. Yes, to own your creativity means that you are better able to find the darkness of depression, but it also enables you to imagine and find inspiration.
You are not alone in this journey.
Creativity draws towards it an eclectic mix of extraordinary people who will travel with you. Lean on them, ask for help, and find encouragement in this group. Stay proactive and persevere when those thoughts of giving up start to filter in. Seek help. Don’t regard it as a weakness to do so. It is an act of courage. Above all, remember this:
“You are Braver than you believe,
Stronger than you seem,
And Smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne
Written by Mary-Anne Potter