Psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison writes:
“I believe that curiosity, wonder and passion are defining qualities of imaginative minds and great teachers; that restlessness and discontent are vital things; and that intense experience and suffering instruct us in ways that less intense emotions can never do.
“I believe, in short, that we are equally beholden to heart and mind, and that those who have particularly passionate temperaments and questioning minds leave the world a different place for their having been there.”
From her article The Benefits of Restlessness and Jagged Edges.
This was inspired by quotes from one of Jamison’s books on depression:
“So why would I want anything to do with this illness? Because I honestly feel that as a result of it I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more intensely; loved more, and been more loved; laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winters; worn death close, appreciated it and life more.
“I have seen the breadth and depth and width of my mind and heart and how frail they both are; and how ultimately unknowable they both are… Depressed I have crawled on my hands and knees. Manic, I have run faster, thought faster, and loved faster than anyone I know… much of this related to my illness. Strangely enough, I think I would choose to have it.”
Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD – An Unquiet Mind.
Another of her popular books:
Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament.
“Her work, based on her study as a clinical psychologist and researcher in mood disorders, reveals that many artists subject to exalted highs and despairing lows were in fact engaged in a struggle with clinically identifiable manic-depressive illness.
“Jamison presents proof of the biological foundations of this disease and applies what is known about the illness to the lives and works of some of the world’s greatest artists including Lord Byron, Vincent Van Gogh, and Virginia Woolf.” [From Amazon.com summary.]
The lower image is from Exuberance: The Passion for Life by Kay Redfield Jamison – “We have given sorrow many words, but a passion for life few.”
Also see much more material on:
Website: Depression and Creativity.