A friend of mine who makes his living as an artist said the following:

"Depression is a fact of life for many creative people. My advice is to embrace it as a part of you. Because without it, instead of painting or writing a book or song, you'd likely be somewhere enjoying life and making lots of money."

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One of my song that goes down well at our gigs, is about the time I had depression:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KcLqgm8gkU  This is not a very good video but give you an idea of the song.   The bridge is the important message.

Em / G / Em / G /

 

Em

Black Clouds above my head

D

I don’t know why

Em

I don’t know why

Crying like someone’s dead

D

I don’t know why

Em

I don’t know why

 

Bm

I can count my blessings

A2

I’m standing in the sun

Bm                            A2

Then the chemicals in my head,

B7

Unbalance:  <Spoken>  the Black Clouds come </Spoken>

 

Em / G / Em / G /

 

 

Lie in Bed and cannot sleep

I don’t know why

I don’t know why

Stare all night from the TV Seat 

I don’t know why

I don’t know why

 

Chorus

 

Eating food that I don’t need

I don’t know why

I don’t know why

An open book that I can’t read

I don’t know why

I don’t know why

 

Chorus

 

Em                      G                       D                          C

I resigned to the fact I may never get my smile back

Em            G                   D                 C

I keep on track with the only thing I know

 

Em             G              D          C

That when things are dark the light

G             Am      Em        D    G

Glorious Light,  will win the day

Been there, felt that, though not to the extent that many have, I'm sure. There are times of discouragement that all of us go through, and yes, I believe the artist is particularly susceptible to it. But I have a feeling that true, clinical depression is a lot deeper than that.

 

Both a brother-in-law and my own father (when he was terminally ill) attempted suicide. I thank God that it's never hit me that bad.

Feeling depressed is one thing, but suffering from deep clinical depression is another matter altogether.

 

Creative people may feel depressed because they are perfectionists at their particular skill, and for other reasons, I am sure, but if a person is suffering from deep clinical depression, no power on earth will motivate them to paint, write or enjoy life and make lots of money. Sorry to be blunt Cory, but I don't think your friend has suffered the way many people have suffered with depression, else he would not be advising people to embrace it as part of them.

 

God Bless. Lorraine

Having jotted off some quick responses, then seeing yours and another about the depths depression can go to, it might be good for us to specify or be descriptive about types of depression and down-ness.

 

I think that the opening quote is actually very dry humor, and a remark on the typical artist's life (no money, worries over acceptance of both art and self, being an oddball, and whatever else we artists have in common).

 

Some of us have various strata of depression-vulnerability.  When bills mount up, I find myself wanting to feel better, not wanting to pay until the last minute, just so there will be a bank balance a day longer.  This, of course, forces me to dash around making emergency payments, wasting time in which I could be making music, or doing something useful

As I get older, I notice a simple request ("play faster") becomes a personal threat, and I feel myself curling up in a little ball like a rodent, in self-defense.  When I was unemployed during the summer, I was astonished how a week could go by in which I did very little at all except things I could win at, like video games.  But writing music -- now I had hours and hours of time to do the projects I'd put on hold -- went by the boards.  I wasn't sure that anyone wanted my music anymore, that anyone wanted to hear what I had to say or think.  I found myself fortunate to have a wife who does want to hear me, and a piano, and a decent set of legs with which I could go for a walk in the woods.  Not everyone has such blessings; and even with them, I could see how easily one could fall into a depressive state rather than merely an episode.

 

 

 

I have a suspicion he's not really understood or experienced depression, though who am I to judge? Depression suppresses output, rather than increasing it.
Working through depression, I wrote and produced three full-length cantatas in one year, and experienced joys beyond belief.  But perhaps my depression was of a different sort than the type that numbs you out.
He suffers from it pretty severely, actually.
Then I'm glad for his sake that he's able to work in spite of it.
Not in spite of.  With!  Everything is a blessing - even our diseases.
You misunderstand me. As others have said here, it's not a case of embracing your depression and then working on while feeling miserable: for some, expecting them to continue functioning would be like telling an amputee to embrace the sensation of leglessness while coming for a jog.

Keep in mind, your qualification here (as you already noted) applies to some, not all.  As it turns out, I have seen all kinds of amazing feats performed by people with various degrees and levels of disability or disease that would put most "whole" people to shame.

 

In the case of the guy who I'm quoting above, he doesn't work in spite of.  He works with.  This is a great thing that he has been able to accomplish through his life with Christ.  Hopefully you'll see this as something that inspires and not something that needs argument.  

Absalami!  But without my friend Melancholy, how could I write good songs?   I could make good formulas for songs, but where would the sweetness (Gaither: "The Fragrance after the Rain") come from?

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