September 6, 2001

September 06, 2001 01:07 AM

“Forget your troubles. Come on. Get Happy.” There are a lot of ways to feel good about yourself. And if you use a thing to get there, the danger is its inevitable absence. I realized not too long ago in reviewing my past work, that the music did more for me than provide a means for expression. It wasn’t a cathartic exercise, either. However, I wrote a lot of songs from a place of longing. At times, it was a longing for romance and passion based on my projection of desire. Other times , it was a sense of isolation or eruption and feeling haunted by my own demons, living or dead. When you use your own creativity to enable a meeting with your beasts and emotions, you are using it like a therapeutic drug.

I heard an educational program on the relationship between creativity and low level depression . The research scientists, doctors, therapists, and artists featured on this program talked about what happens to a creative person – like an artist, writer, musician, sex worker, – who goes on antidepressant medication, no longer has low level depression, and the result on their work. One example of the outcome of medication was illustrated by a writer who said that her work was affected in that she did not feel “the need” to write after her depression lifted. She said she no longer had to turn to writing because she “needed” it . A doctor on the program stated his opposition to medication for low level depression. He said that a lot of important art had been created by persons with “LLD” and that there were ways to work and live with it and not have to go on medication and wipe it out . The inevitable question was then put forth by the panel : Wouldn’t many of the world’s great works of art not even have been created if antidepressant drugs had existed and been given to the artists?

Recommended: Julia Kristeva’s “Black Sun”