I wanted to share a really fascinating, balanced article on some of the latest research on the benefits of depression. (New York Times - Depression's Upside)
It's a looooong article, but worth it. I was especially fascinated by explanations of the reasons for the link between creativity and depression.
Here's an interesting tidbit that applies specifically to writerly types . . .
And then there’s the virtue of self-loathing, which is one of the symptoms of depression. When people are stuck in the ruminative spiral, their achievements become invisible; the mind is only interested in what has gone wrong. While this condition is typically linked to withdrawal and silence -- people become unwilling to communicate -- there’s some suggestive evidence that states of unhappiness can actually improve our expressive abilities. Forgas said he has found that sadness correlates with clearer and more compelling sentences, and that negative moods “promote a more concrete, accommodative and ultimately more successful communication style.” Because we’re more critical of what we’re writing, we produce more refined prose, the sentences polished by our angst. As Roland Barthes observed, “A creative writer is one for whom writing is a problem.”
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