Category: Mental health

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Resources on Creative People, Personality and Mental Health

Resources on Creative People, Personality and Mental Health

This long page includes a video of my online 1 hour presentation, plus multiple short video excerpts, plus notes and multiple links to articles and other resources. Main topics: Personality: High Sensitivity | Self Concept / Self Esteem Mental Health: Anxiety | Depression | Trauma Sections include: A Complex Personality Insecurity and Androgyny High Sensitivity […]

Eric Maisel on investing meaning in our life and art for mental health

Eric Maisel on investing meaning in our life and art for mental health

Eric Maisel, PhD is author of The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person’s Path Through Depression. In our interview, he addresses some of the meaning and mood issues facing creators, noting that when we consciously make meaning, we improve our lives and mental health. Q: The kinds of anxiety we call stage fright, or fear […]

Social Media and the Holiday Blues

Social Media and the Holiday Blues

By Rose Haywood Social media has provided us new ways to come together on a variety of platforms and across cultures, but it may also contribute to feelings of isolation and even depression. According to a recent study from the University of Michigan, frequent use of Facebook in particular was identified as having a negative […]

Cutting and high sensitivity

Cutting and high sensitivity

One of the hallmarks of being creative is sensitivity. But for many people, that sensitivity can lead to feelings of overwhelm and chaos. Some deal with their high sensitivity very well, with adequate self care, respecting their needs for boundaries, and by retreating. But some people take drugs, and others self-injure to deal with their […]

Peter D. Kramer on normality and mental health

Peter D. Kramer on normality and mental health

Being exceptional is by definition to be out of the ordinary, not normal in some notable ways, and according to some common standards of behavior or values. Processing information much faster, for example, or being able to generate many more creative and unusual ideas than most people, or being highly sensitive. Looking in a direction […]

Milla Jovovich: "Inspire yourself"

Milla Jovovich: “Inspire yourself”

“As a model, a lot of girls think, ‘I can just show up and be beautiful.’ I always showed up with the intent of, I’m a muse and I will inspire you because I am inspiring myself.” Milla Jovovich was born in Kiev, Ukraine to father Bogdanovitch Jovovich (Serbian doctor) and mother Galina Loginova Jovovich […]

Don't Mess With My Brain [Mental Health and Creative People]

Don’t Mess With My Brain [Mental Health and Creative People]

In the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975, based on the novel by Ken Kesey), criminal Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) is transferred to a mental institution due to his apparently deranged behavior, which turns out to be a deliberate gambit by him to serve out his sentence in an easier place than […]

Traumatic Childhood, Creative Adult

Traumatic Childhood, Creative Adult

Halle Berry said she recalls being terrified that her violent father, who physically abused her mother, would turn on her. “I think I’ve spent my adult life dealing with the sense of low self-esteem that sort of implanted in me. Somehow I felt not worthy.” She explained, “Before I’m ‘Halle Berry,’ I’m little Halle…a little […]

Elyn Saks, Schizophrenia and Creativity

Elyn Saks, Schizophrenia and Creativity

Cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D. notes that schizotypy, a milder version of schizophrenia, “consists of a constellation of personality traits that are evident in some degree in everyone.” “Research confirms a link between schizotypy and creative achievement. In particular, ‘positive’ schizotypal traits such as unusual perceptual experiences and magical beliefs tend to be elevated […]

Fear and trembling and an audience – heal anxiety

A fate worse than death Speaking in front of an audience is reportedly more fearsome than death. It doesn’t have to be a crowd – simply another person. But an audience of any size can be helpful in encouraging our creative expression and personal development – more so if we can be relaxed and authentic. […]

Running From Crazy docu by Barbara Kopple with Mariel Hemingway

Running From Crazy docu by Barbara Kopple with Mariel Hemingway

Running from Crazy is a new documentary by Barbara Kopple. “Through the eyes of Mariel Hemingway…it chronicles the story of three of the author’s grandchildren, Mariel, Margaux Hemingway and Joan ‘Muffet’ Hemingway (diagnosed with “bipolar schizophrenia”), daughters of Jack Hemingway, and their struggles with the family history of substance abuse, mental illness and suicide. “The […]

Creativity to fend off madness

Creativity to fend off madness

“Everybody’s a mad scientist, and life is their lab. We’re all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos.” Director David Cronenberg In her article Creativity, the Arts, and Madness, Maureen Neihart, Psy.D. notes there is “a long-held view in psychiatry that artistic endeavors heal […]

On being restless with jagged edges

On being restless with jagged edges

“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 […]

The Creative Adult is the Child Who Survived

The Creative Adult is the Child Who Survived

“The Creative Adult is the Child Who Survived” – From the facebook page of Artizen Magazine Many, if not most, people experience some kind of trauma in life. How does creative expression help people deal with it, to heal and recover? How can surviving painful experiences sometimes fuel creativity? See quotes by and about many […]

Jennifer Capriati on treating her depression

Jennifer Capriati on treating her depression

“Sometimes you get to a point where you can’t stop what you are thinking. It’s like you’re being taken over by a demon.” Many talented people are faced with mental health challenges, such as depression. The following are excerpts from the article: Jennifer Capriati tries to beat her demons, By Wayne Coffey, NYDailyNews.com July 15th […]

Eric Maisel on distraction addiction

Eric Maisel on distraction addiction

Creativity coach Eric Maisel, PhD points out the insidious attraction of what he calls “special addictions that might be dubbed the distraction addictions.” Among these, he lists “compulsive Internet surfing, online shopping, and video game playing that have sprung up alongside our technological advances. “These new addictions are a lure for everybody, but they are […]

Be Your Own Therapist

Be Your Own Therapist

Trauma takes many forms, and has different levels of impact on our mental health for each of us. In addition to professional counseling, there are many resources for self-healing. See quotes by and about many artists who have experienced rape, physical abuse and other traumatic and emotionally challenging experiences, and use creative expression to help […]

The upside of our dysfunctions

The upside of our dysfunctions

“So many good things have happened to me because of how unhealthy I’ve been mentally.” The photo shows Judd Apatow directing his wife, Leslie Mann, on the set of “Knocked Up,” which he also produced and wrote. Other credits include “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” and the acclaimed “Freaks and Geeks” TV […]

Robert Epstein on the teen brain

Robert Epstein on the teen brain

In an article, psychologist and editor Robert Epstein, PhD asks, “We blame teen turmoil on immature brains. But did the brains cause the turmoil, or did the turmoil shape the brains?” He says brain imaging studies “find that teens and adults use their brains somewhat differently when performing certain tasks” and that such studies “are […]

James Ellroy: "Crazy suppressed s--- came out and blew up in my face."

James Ellroy: “Crazy suppressed s— came out and blew up in my face.”

From article “How James Ellroy lost his mind,” The Week, October 8, 2009. In 2001 the best-selling noir novelist had a nervous breakdown while on a book tour. James Ellroy has an intimate knowledge of despair, says Sean Woods in Rolling Stone. In 2001 he was at the top of his professional game, a best-selling […]

Giftedness, sensitivity and psychiatric drugs: why do we take them and why do we quit?

Giftedness, sensitivity and psychiatric drugs: why do we take them and why do we quit?

By Cat Robson What are some of the considerations that lead sensitive and gifted adults to take psychiatric medications? What are some of the reasons people stop taking medications? What are the alternatives? My inner life, and sometimes my outer life, is painful/chaotic/confusing. The DSM symptoms list for certain mental illnesses seem to fit me […]

Sinead O'Connor on her creativity and dealing with depression

Sinead O’Connor on her creativity and dealing with depression

On or about April 24, 2012, an announcement was posted on her site www.sinead-oconnor.com that Sinead O’Connor has had to cancel her tour. She posted the following note: “With enormous regret I must announce that I have to cancel all touring for the year as am very unwell due to bi polar disorder. “As you […]

Managing Depression Releases More Creativity

Managing Depression Releases More Creativity

“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 […]

Reduce how you compromise yourself by dealing with anxious thoughts

Reduce how you compromise yourself by dealing with anxious thoughts

“The equipment used in connection with this operation will consist of the following items: 1 unopened newspaper; 1 sterile can opener; 1 large sterile plate; 1 sterile fork; 1 sterile spoon; 2 sterile brushes; 2 bars of soap; sterile paper towels.” That is part of a long memo from Howard Hughes on how to open […]

Therese J. Borchard on her journey in treating depression

Therese J. Borchard on her journey in treating depression

“When you’re in the midst of depression, that’s the scariest thing — it seems that you’re going to feel like that forever. The pain created by depression kills almost 1 million people a year. It almost killed me, and it did kill my aunt. “If I can give just one person hope that there’s an […]

Keeping positive about our darker edges

Keeping positive about our darker edges

“Life’s just much too hard today / I hear ev’ry mother say / The pursuit of happiness just seems a bore / And if you take more of those / you will get an overdose / No more running for the shelter / of a mother’s little helper” “Mother’s Little Helper” by The Rolling Stones, […]

The Edge of Madness: Black Swan and Artistic Expression

The Edge of Madness: Black Swan and Artistic Expression

In another outstanding post, cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman includes a wide range of material on creativity and mental health. Here is an excerpt: In the movie Black Swan, the ballerina Nina Sayers (played by Natalie Portman) is asked by the director to “lose herself” in the role of the black swan in the ballet […]

Keeping the turmoil in your art - not your spirit

Keeping the turmoil in your art – not your spirit

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” Friedrich Nietzsche That quote is a perspective many artists and other gifted and talented people with intense and “chaotic” inner lives may appreciate. But is turmoil necessary for creative expression? [The image, by the way, is “Bond of Union” […]

Avoid holiday stress with "9 Holiday Depression Busters"

Avoid holiday stress with “9 Holiday Depression Busters”

In her article, 9 Holiday Depression Busters, Theresa Borchard shows how to keep stress levels low and depression and anxiety at bay over the holidays. Her 9 tips run from the serious “Avoid Toxic People,” and “Make Your Own Traditions,” to the seemingly frivolous, but ingenious, “Travel With Polyester, Not Linen.” Here’s a sample: #9: […]

Many talented people use or abuse drugs

Many talented people use or abuse drugs

Psychologist and creativity coach/author Eric Maisel, PhD declares: “The artist is often a drug and alcohol abuser. “The challenge for the creative artist stirred by [their] work and dream is to maintain mood equilibrium without resorting to mood-altering drugs. The social environment of the artist makes this challenge doubly difficult.” [From article Counseling Artists: The […]

Highly creative people have brains similar to those with schizophrenia

Highly creative people have brains similar to those with schizophrenia

Research provides more neuroscientific explanation for the potential links between mental health and mental illness to creativity. A press release reports: “By studying receptors in the brain, researchers at Karolinska Institute have managed to show that the dopamine system in healthy, highly creative people is similar in some respects to that seen in people with […]

Emotion Regulation

Emotion Regulation

How we relate to our emotions can deeply impact our experience of life, and how well we are able to pursue talents and passions. Trying to block or “escape” what we view as negative feelings or emotions can block access to parts of ourselves we might develop. Laura L.C. Johnson writes in a Positive Psychology […]

Creative People and Madness [Slideshare presentation]

Creative People and Madness [Slideshare presentation]

A number of mental health challenges and myths relate to creative people. For example, director Tim Burton may be acclaimed for his films, including “Alice in Wonderland,” but has also been called ‘crazy’ (at least in part for his appearance) or at least ‘eccentric’ – perhaps a polite cover label for ‘mad.’ … The mythology […]