Category: Mental health

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Depression and Creativity
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Eric Maisel on emotional mastery

Eric Maisel on emotional mastery

Psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel comments: “Mindfulness includes minding your emotions. If you know it will rile you to re-read that curt email from that literary agent, delete it. What are you saving it for? Become someone who is able to mind her emotions… “You get angry, you get envious, you get depressed. You […]

Depression As An Adaptation

Depression As An Adaptation

According to The National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 21 million American adults, or about 9.5 percent of people 18 and older in a given year, have a mood disorder, including major depression, dysthymia (chronic, mild depression), and bipolar disorder. [From my article Making Good Use of Depression. Photo: actor Hayden Christensen from the book […]

You Can Heal Your Life - the Louise Hay video

You Can Heal Your Life – the Louise Hay video

Author Gregg Braden says, “I was working as a defense systems computer engineer during the last years of the Cold War when I first read Louise’s book, You Can Heal Your Life. “It came to me at a turning point in my life and I found it so beautiful, so powerful, and so true. “Through […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Living A Creative Life - Eric Maisel on Dealing With Stress

Living A Creative Life – Eric Maisel on Dealing With Stress

Creativity coach, author and psychologist Eric Maisel, PhD, notes “Some people become doctors, lawyers, accountants, or marketing executives. Some people stay at home and raise a family. “But millions of people make another sort of choice, maybe only as part-time employment if you count the money they earn but as their full-time identity: they become […]

Anger and creativity

Anger and creativity

Actor and Singer/songwriter Melora Hardin said in our interview: “Anger is the best propeller for any kind of action, it really gets you moving. It’s a good thing. A healthy thing. “But I also think a lot of people — like some songwriters I interact with — get really caught in the trap of feeling […]

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 […]

Artists and Addiction

Artists and Addiction

“Let’s just say I needed a cocktail when we finished that day.” Amy Adams was referring to shooting a scene in “American Hustle”, which a Los Angeles Times article describes as “a scene in which her character, Sydney, a steely, sexy con artist, confronts her lover, Irving (Christian Bale), about the authenticity of his devotion.” […]

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 […]

Creativity and Asperger’s

Creativity and Asperger’s

Can Asperger’s Syndrome or related conditions include neurological differences and qualities that enhance creativity? A page on the Asperger’s Association of New England site declares “There is strong evidence that such superstars as Vincent Van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, Albert Einstein, code-breaker Alan Turing, and musician Glen Gould, among many others, all had Asperger Syndrome. “Today, […]

Developing creativity: Orna Ross on meditation

Developing creativity: Orna Ross on meditation

By Cat Robson – I’ve always thought of meditation as something I have to do on the floor with my legs crossed, which is just too darn uncomfortable. In fact, I’ve experienced meditative states all my life and didn’t know it. Orna Ross writes in her ebook Inspiration Meditation: Towards the end of my first […]

Learned Helplessness, Self-Limiting and Happiness

Learned Helplessness, Self-Limiting and Happiness

“Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.” Janis Joplin One form of compromise we may face is learned helplessness – an emotional and behavioral response in which a human being (or other animal) has learned to “give up” or act as if they are helpless, and loses motivation to act in their own best interest […]

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 […]

Creative People, Trauma and Mental Health

Creative People, Trauma and Mental Health

Pretty much all of us experience some kind of trauma in life. How does creative expression help people deal with it? How do people make use of traumatic experiences in their creative work? What impacts on mental health can trauma have, and how can people regain mental and emotional health? Trauma takes many forms, 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 […]

Eating disorders, body image and perfectionism

Eating disorders, body image and perfectionism

Are actors and other performers at greater risk for body image issues and eating disorders than people who are not “in the spotlight”? Maybe. What has interested me in this topic over the years is how many highly talented women – especially actors – have talked about having body issues and eating disorders now or […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Regulating Emotions to Develop Creativity

Regulating Emotions to Develop Creativity

Cheryl Arutt, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in creative artist issues, trauma recovery, and other issues. She writes: Creating art has always been a way to channel emotional intensity. In a world where destructive acting out is all too frequent (and meticulously documented and sensationalized on the news and TMZ), sublimating painful feelings […]

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 […]

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 […]

Many talented people use or abuse drugs

Many talented people use or abuse drugs

Psychologist and creativity coach/author Eric Maisel, PhD says “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 […]

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 […]

Psychotherapist Sarah Chana Radcliffe on EFT and Holosync

Psychotherapist Sarah Chana Radcliffe on EFT and Holosync

Psychotherapist Sarah Chana Radcliffe practices emotionally focused therapy, process experiential psychotherapy, energy psychology, EMDR, and cognitive behavioral therapy. In this excerpt from a Shrink Rap Radio podcast, she talks about EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), Holosync and some other approaches to personal development and healing. See the post to hear an excerpt from her podcast interview: […]

The Link Between Depression And Anxiety

The Link Between Depression And Anxiety

Many highly talented, creative people experience some degree of anxiety, as well as depression. This writer is a “psychologist and nutrition specialist who personally dealt with depression for nearly 20 years, and through his research developed a way to shift your focus and change your mindset, to re-gain control over your thoughts and feelings.” ~ […]

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, […]

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 […]

Creativity and madness: The Abnormal Psychology of Creativity

Creativity and madness: The Abnormal Psychology of Creativity

By Cat Robson Just what is ‘normal’ for a creative person? After trying clumsily to conform to what others consider normal for much of my life, I’m beginning to appreciate my own moods and personality. Are creative people like us ‘abnormal’?  In his paper The Abnormal Psychology of Creativity, Steven James Bartlett writes…. Norwegian painter […]