Depression, Anxiety and the Creative Writer

Katie Phillips Creative Services

Creative writers often jokingly refer to the strangeness of the writing experience in terms of a mental illness. Multiple personalities (Characters that talk back? Say, whaaat?), obsessive behavior, the “tortured artist” stereotype, all the feels, etc.

But there’s a darker underbelly beneath all the joking.

The sensitive, artistic personality types who tend to express their deep thoughts and feelings through writing often trend toward depression and anxiety. 

This is by no means true of all writers and artists (thankfully!), and the scientific community is divided on whether a link actually exists. However, I’ve certainly seen anecdotal evidence of many creative writers struggling, not to mention dealing with anxiety and depression myself.

Creative writers look at the world a different way. They feel things others don’t feel, and often feel them much more deeply than the rest of the population. Writers (especially of the speculative genres) often feel torn between two…

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