“I only know that summer sang in me a little while, that in me sings no more.”
That excerpt from one of her sonnets expresses how much poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) probably knew of depression.
Singer Marie Osmond has described her experiences suffering from postpartum depression in her book Behind the Smile: “I’m collapsed in a pile of shoes on my closet floor. I have no memory of what it feels like to be happy. I sit with my knees pulled up to my chest. It’s not that I want to be still. I am numb.”
That kind of numbness, that sense of endless hopelessness and erosion of spiritual vitality are some of the reasons depression can have such a devastating impact on creative inspiration and expression.
Depression and other mood disorders such as anxiety and bipolar come in a wide range of experiences, not just postpartum depression as experienced by Marie Osmond and Brooke Shields, and so many other women.
Lorraine Bracco, who portrayed psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi on “The Sopranos,” wrote about her experience with depression and getting effective treatment in her memoir, On the Couch.
Depression affects many of us men, too. Jim Carrey, for example, took Prozac for a long time.
Alanis Morissette has talked about how she “actively sought out different ways to turn to my innate joy” to deal with being “so freaked out about my bouts of depression.” [From the page Depression: teen/young adult.]
In her article What Are the Common Treatments for Depression?, Tess Thompson summarizes a variety of approaches, and notes, “Historically, the approach to depression has been extremely casual. About two hundred years ago, some doctors believed that extensive shaking could bring relief to the body and ultimately cure depression.
“Today, the approach to mental ailments has gone through a paradigm shift due to major breakthroughs in the study of the functions performed by the human brain.”
Facebook: Emotional Health and Creativity