So, first blog, rather exciting! I’ve recently been researching creativity as a means of managing depression and other mental illnesses, especially music. I am endlessly fascinated how music can have this innate power to make us feel, even when we are at our most still. It occurs to me that this is a lot like depression. Only we don’t have the ability to switch it off when we find it uncomfortable like we can with music. But what if we could change the track, play a different song, feel a new and more empowering emotion. Maybe listening to music is like mindfulness in action? The great man himself (by which I mean Sir Paul McCartney) once said of music that it is “shared emotion in melody”. Perhaps it is this exprestionalism coupled with the brains inability to recognise real experience with vividly imagined ones that proves to be cathartic.
In the course of my research I found a fantastic self described tourettes comedian who has come up with a unique a surprising answer. Over a decade ago she set up a charity called tourettes hero, which seeks to redefine what it means to be disabled through accessing spontaneous creativity. She was interviewed on Russell Howard’s good news some years ago, and the question was asked ” what is it like living with tourettes?” After a few seconds of thought she relied that her nightly routine goes like most peoples, brush your teeth, put on your pyjamas, get into bed, then she adds with a gleeful smile, abuse the lampost until I fall asleep.
She goes on to explain her strange relationship with the lampost outside her bedroom window and the bizzare ticks that it seams to inspire, yet she continues on to say that she loves having tourettes because it allows her to access a spontaneous creativity that might not otherwise be there and her ticks encompasses strange new concepts that she finds exciting. This poses an interesting question. Can our depression allow us to access new creativity that we never new we had? And more importantly, can using this creativity be a therapeutic experience?
One might hypothicate that yes, it could, since Mozart composed some of his best scores whilst in the thralls of depression.
I myself, as something of an amateur poet have experienced this, redirecting my creativity and my entire cognition into something more artistic and thought provoking. While of course I would never suggest that you should try this experimentation in creativity instead of seeking professional help, it may just be a perfect complimentary therapy for you, since all art is inextricably linked to the way we perceive the world and ourselves.