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Robin Williams: Intensity Is Not Pathology - The Creative Mind

Robin Williams: Intensity Is Not Pathology - The Creative Mind | Mental Health & Creativity | Scoop.it

The tone of many responses to the death of Robin Williams support the insidious "Crazy Artist" mythology: that artistic creativity depends on mental disorder.


But, as psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman commented, his “comedic genius was a result of many factors, including his compassion, playfulness, divergent thinking, imagination, intelligence, affective repertoire, and unique life experiences. In contrast, his suicide was strongly influenced by his mental illness. This romanticism of mental illness needs to stop.”

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Eric Maisel on Rethinking Depression

Introduced by Neseret Bemient, host of The Mental Health Telesummit, creativity coach and therapist Eric Maisel, PhD talks about "official" attitudes of many health professionals about some forms of human experience, such as depression, that get labeled as mental illness.

He thinks “There is something profoundly wrong with the way that we currently name and treat certain human phenomena." [From article "Rethinking Creativity and Depression" http://depressionandcreativity.org/139/ ]

In this brief audio clip he talks about ideas he also presents in his book "Rethinking Depression: How to Shed Mental Health Labels and Create Personal Meaning". http://goo.gl/J77pc

Get his full-length [almost an hour] interview as part of the Mental Health Telesummit package of recordings by 12 presenters. More information at http://talentdevelop.com/MHT

 

 

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Eric Maisel on meaning in art to manage depression | TalentDevelop

Eric Maisel on meaning in art to manage depression | TalentDevelop | Mental Health & Creativity | Scoop.it

Eric Maisel: “When we fear that we do not matter or that our efforts do not matter, we get depressed.

“Similarly, the places where we make large investments of meaning, for instance in our performances, paintings, or books, are places of great anxiety, because there is more than our ego on the line, there is our very sense of the meaningfulness of our life.

“If the world is not interested in our paintings, for instance, we will be hard-pressed to maintain meaning there; so, when we come to the blank canvas, we can already be a little (or a lot) frightened that a negative reaction to this as-yet-unborn painting will precipitate a meaning crisis.”

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Julianna Bonola's curator insight, July 3, 2013 2:59 AM

unread at the ninent

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Depression and Creativity

Depression and Creativity | Mental Health & Creativity | Scoop.it
"I have thought Too long and darkly, till my brain became, In its own eddy boiling and o'erwrought, A whirling gulf of phantasy and flame..." -- Lord Byron

 

Depression usually yields nothing but suffering. The same is true of mania. However, often depression, especially in its phases of resolution, does contribute to a creative spurt, as the individual resolves, at least for the time being, the underlying emotional conflicts. //

 

Related page of mine: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Depression-and-Creativity/399254776768105

~~

Byron gives a vivid description of intellectual, imaginational, emotional overexcitabilites, or just excitabilites. One post on the topic: Excitabilities and Gifted People – an intro by Susan Daniels. http://highability.org/537/

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Robin Williams’s Comedic Genius Was Not a Result of Mental Illness, but His Suicide Was

Robin Williams’s Comedic Genius Was Not a Result of Mental Illness, but His Suicide Was | Mental Health & Creativity | Scoop.it
This romanticism of mental illness needs to stop.
Douglas Eby's insight:

James Thurman Webb, PhD commented in a Facebook post about Robin Williams: "I have no doubt that he was a highly gifted man who struggled with existential depression. His intensity, sensitivity, and search for life meaning, characteristic of so many gifted people, permeated his life."

Intensity was an almost defining quality of Williams (and many gifted artists and other people). Polish Psychiatrist and Psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski defined this intensity as overexcitability: an abundance of physical, sensual, creative, intellectual and emotional energy. As Dr. Webb and others have pointed out, intensity and other characteristics of giftedness may be misinterpreted as pathology.

One of my articles: What do you do with your intensity? [which links to a number of related articles] http://talentdevelop.com/2475/what-do-you-do-with-your-intensity/

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Kelly Christopherson's curator insight, August 16, 2014 2:30 PM

For those who suffer with mental illness, there is nothing "romantic" about it or how it affects their lives and the lives of those around them. Mental illness is as debilitating and harmful as any other illness, maybe more so because people "appear normal". Yes, Williams was a comedic genius. Tragically, mental illness led to his death. There is nothing romantic about the loss of human life. 

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PASSINGS: Lee Thompson Young

PASSINGS: Lee Thompson Young | Mental Health & Creativity | Scoop.it

"Lee Thompson Young in a scene from the TNT series "Rizzoli & Isles." Los Angeles police say his death is being investigated as a suicide"

 

Another article: 'A friend said a report linking Young's depression to his religion was "a gross mischaracterization."

 

'A better explanation, the friend said, is that Young was drawn to religion because he yearned for enlightenment and may have been "too sensitive" for this world.'


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/lee-thompson-young-leave-suicide-note-source-article-1.1431739

Douglas Eby's insight:

See many posts related to creative people on my site Depression and Creativity http://depressionandcreativity.org/

~~~

Post on my Highly Sensitive site: Winona Ryder: “Maybe I’m too sensitive for this world.”  http://highlysensitive.org/13/winona-ryder-maybe-im-too-sensitive-for-this-world/

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The Emotional Wellness Habit

The Emotional Wellness Habit | Mental Health & Creativity | Scoop.it

By Eric Maisel. "Although we’ve lost this way of looking at personality, at one time it was assumed that a full quarter of human beings were born “melancholic.” Whether that view is accurate or not there’s no reason to assume that we don’t come into the world with some hard-wired proclivities, including for some of us a vulnerability to sadness."

 

 

Douglas Eby's insight:

See more articles by Eric Maisel

http://talentdevelop.com/articlelive/authors/45/Eric-Maisel

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