Depression and the Artistic Temperament

If you’re an artistic soul, then you’ve battled depression, this enemy of soul.

You’ve got this light, bright side most people see and admire, and then there’s the dark place only those closest to you know you crawl into at times.

Berit Grogard D.M.Sci., Ph.D.’s article, “Positives of Depression on Artistic Expression,” presents a scientific explanation for what Madeleine L’Engle describes:

“Artistic temperament sometimes seems a battleground, a dark angel of destruction and a bright angel of creativity wrestling.”

Recently, a colleague, Melissa, said to me, “You should be a writer because you’ve got so many ideas.”

“I am a writer,” I replied.

I could change her statement around to read, “You should be an artist because you’ve got so many emotions.”

Just as writing helps me to express the unending river of words that floods my mind, art helps me to release the bottled-up emotions that flood my soul.

Artistic expression releases the images, the feelings, the pent-up creativity that bubbles up in my imagination, longing for escape.

So, if you’ve struggled with depression, consider picking up a pen or paintbrush and write or paint your way out of your dark side. You’ll be amazed at what you will create when you wrestle with your dark muse and win!

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