Category: Mental health

Also see
Anxiety Relief Solutions
Depression and Creativity
Mental health & fitness articles
Mental health topic pages

Athletes can also struggle with mental health challenges

Athletes can also struggle with mental health challenges

One of my stereotypes has been that athletes, especially men, are “tough” – physically and emotionally “less sensitive” and less vulnerable to mental health challenges. Not true, of course. Like many sterotypes tend to be, my presumptions have been based on common media depictions of athletes I’ve seen over the years – mainly the occasional […]

Carrie Fisher: “Mental illness is not all bad.”

Carrie Fisher: “Mental illness is not all bad.”

Actor, novelist, script consultant, screenwriter, and performance artist Carrie Fisher has experienced depression and other mental health challenges. “The manic end of is a lot of fun. I try to encourage people to envy my mania. A lot of it is just fantastic. “Mental illness sounds so horrendous and it can be. But it’s kind of […]

Creative Expression and Healing

Creative Expression and Healing

Creative expression can transform our painful reactions to traumatic or difficult experiences, providing a way to give voice to painful feelings. Charlize Theron is an example. As a teen, she saw her mother shoot and kill her abusive and violently threatening father in self defense. She said in a 2004 interview that her work has helped […]

Winona Ryder on staying sane

Winona Ryder on staying sane

Winona Ryder: “I was lucky in the sense that my success was gradual. But then there was a point when there was so much attention, and you get surrounded with people who sort of make you feel like you have to do everything… “It’s really tough to suddenly be very famous. I think you get […]

Cinematherapy - use movies for personal growth

Cinematherapy – use movies for personal growth

The latest form of bibliotherapy Being mindfully aware of our reactions to movies can be a potent way to explore our inner life, and enhance our mental health and personal development. A Psychology Today article, Reel Therapy by John W. Hesley, notes, “Although people might be surprised when a therapist recommends a movie, using fiction […]

Mad To Live - the attitude and the foundation

Mad To Live – the attitude and the foundation

This is by Kristin from the Candy Sandwich blog. See some related TalentDevelop links at the end. “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a […]

On The Couch for More Creativity

On The Couch for More Creativity

Over the years since it was developed by Freud, psychoanalysis has been fodder for many jokes and dismissive ideas about the value of therapy and even psychology in general. But many writers and other artists choose the experience of analysis and other forms of therapy as a way to both become healthier and to better […]

Happy Pills In America

Happy Pills In America

Our Complex Love Affair With Designer Consciousness From Medical News Today The spectacular increase in the use of psychiatric drugs over the past 50 years involved what a University at Buffalo historian calls “a massive break with what we consider ‘normal’ mental health,” one linked to myriad social and cultural changes in America. “Happy Pills […]

Living With Extreme Mental States

Living With Extreme Mental States

As she noted at the start of her blog (in 2005), writer Liz Spikol “struggles with mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder and OCD. I was also diagnosed with dissociative disorder N.O.S. — which means I suffer from intermittent depersonalization and derealization.” Here is part of a New York Times article that includes Spikol and others […]

Novelist Clare Allen on "Poppy Shakespeare," mental illness and creativity

Novelist Clare Allen on “Poppy Shakespeare,” mental illness and creativity

By Cat Robson. The film Poppy Shakespeare, based on Clare Allen’s novel, takes us down a cinematic rabbit hole into north London’s fictional Dorothy Fish day hospital where the clearly ‘sane’ Poppy, played by Naomie Harris, has been mysteriously committed to a compulsory day-program for the mentally ill. In a psychiatric Catch 22, she must […]

Pain and suffering and developing creativity

Pain and suffering and developing creativity

“I’ve suffered enough. When does my artwork improve?” Refrigerator magnet from stickergiant.com “Suffering is justified as soon as it becomes the raw material of beauty.” Jean-Paul Sartre The tortured artist mythology is an ancient and enduring notion: The idea that art depends on suffering, and artists are likely to be fraught with suffering and dark […]

Too 'depressing' a topic for Valentine's Day?

Too ‘depressing’ a topic for Valentine’s Day?

Anne Tyler Lord writes: “Some may think that depression is too ‘depressing’ of a topic for Valentine’s Day. But I think it is the best because it is one of the holidays where many people experience depression, right up there with Christmas and New Year’s Eve. “And, what better way to care for your heart […]

The creative experience: intensity or madness

The creative experience: intensity or madness

By Cat Robson. As I discovered over the years in my own interactions with the mental health system, when someone with a creative personality is seen through the eyes of those who have a different temperament, such as scientists and doctors, the result can be mislabeling and misdiagnosis. People who are uncomfortable with extreme states […]

Can stress and bad moods spur creativity?

Can stress and bad moods spur creativity?

According to research by professor Modupe Akinola of Columbia Business School and colleagues, negative mood-triggering situations and stress can in some ways enhance creative expression. An article on the research asks, “Where does creativity come from, and how can it be harnessed? “The answer may be a dark one, says Professor Modupe Akinola, whose research […]

Ingmar Bergman on mastering anxiety, depicting joy

Ingmar Bergman on mastering anxiety, depicting joy

As journalist Charles McNulty writes, Ingmar Bergman [1918-2007] “will always be remembered first and foremost as one of the most influential of European auteurs, a filmmaker whose enthralling forays into characters’ interior darkness were unmatched in their psychological acuity and inward intensity.” [From “Bergman a giant not only of film but of the stage,” Los […]

Madness and creativity: do we need to be crazy?

Madness and creativity: do we need to be crazy?

~ ~ ~ ~ The idea of the mad artist is supported to some extent by research, and the experiences of mental illness for many creative people. What do psychologists say? Here is a video on the topic: “Connecting strength and vulnerability of the creative brain” – PBS, July 25, 2014. “Why have so many […]

Peter D. Kramer

You’re crazy. Or maybe not.

Do you ever feel depressed, anxious, obsessed, compulsive, too sensitive – or just out of it? Does that mean you’re really crazy? What does ‘crazy’ mean anymore, with so many categories of mental disorder? What does ‘normal’ even mean? Peter D. Kramer, clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University, notes “Diagnostic labels are proliferating, and […]

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 […]

Developing Creativity: Our Stuff is the Raw Material

Developing Creativity: Our Stuff is the Raw Material

One of the enduring ideas about developing creativity is to that creative people such as writers need to “get out of their own way” so they can more freely express their inner experience. It is also potentially a core benefit of counseling or psychotherapy. But what does that really mean: getting out of our own […]

Can Depression Help Us To Be More Creative?

Can Depression Help Us To Be More Creative?

“Though my dark side is dormant right now, it continues to play a big role in whatever capacity I have to be creative.” Jessica Lange said of her depression years ago that “it was really a tough one. And when I came out, I felt like I had gone through something and come out the […]

Perfectionism and Depression: What to Do When Being a Perfectionist Drags You Down

Perfectionism and Depression: What to Do When Being a Perfectionist Drags You Down

Here is an excerpt from an article by Sedona Training Associates staff and Hale Dwoskin: Do you ever think the following self-limiting beliefs? * It’s not OK to make a mistake * People will not like me if I’m not perfect * I’ll avoid anything I can’t do well * I’m a failure because I […]

Gifted and Talented, Drugs and Alcohol

Gifted and Talented, Drugs and Alcohol

Many talented people with exceptional artistic and intellectual abilities have used drugs and alcohol. Sometimes they risk addiction. Edie Falco says her past alcoholism has helped make her role as an addicted nurse even more authentic in “Nurse Jackie.” Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman says he used drugs and alcohol earlier in his life. “It was […]

Mastering emotional overload but still being highly sensitive

Mastering emotional overload but still being highly sensitive

“May you live in interesting times” is reputed to be an ancient Chinese proverb and curse. We are certainly in an amazing period of history, with wonderful changes and opportunities for social and personal growth – but also with much cause for overwhelm, especially if you are highly sensitive, or dealing with challenging emotions like […]

Imagery and Biofeedback for Health

Imagery and Biofeedback for Health

Wild Divine offers interactive biofeedback programs that enable you to control computer visual displays, including games, to support meditation and stress relief. Wild Divine programs have been created by leaders including Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Zen Master Nissim Amon and others. “The exercises in Healing Rhythms affect not only the […]

Making meaning with the help of therapy and self exploration

Making meaning with the help of therapy and self exploration

“While we’re here, let’s live fully. There are lots of things that masquerade as having the key to life — religion, culture. But ultimately we have to make decisions on our own. And we will make mistakes. And that’s OK, because we’re human. It’s a struggle to find meaning, but that struggle is the meaning.” […]

Achievement pressure and the word salad breakdown

Achievement pressure and the word salad breakdown

The term “nervous breakdown” may be loose and non-medical, but still somewhat useful and descriptive.  If it is extreme enough, the experience may get called a psychosis. One of the things that intrigued me in the story below is the symptom of “word salad” – which the Wikipedia page on Schizophasia explains is “confused, and […]

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 […]