Why Are Artists Depressed?

Are They Prone to Mental Illness?

“Why are artists depressed all the time…and weird?” I was asked this question last week and even though I know that we are usually more sensitive and odd or eccentric, it still made me bristle just a bit. But it’s true. Creative brains operate a little differently that non-creatives.

That’s why they’re good at being artists!

There can also be the tendency to absorb far more in regards to sensory input than other people. This can be great for the art part of things, but extremely difficult on the social side of things. People call us sensitive and it’s true. We are far more open to sensory input and it can often feel like an attack. This is why many artists tend to stay to themselves or avoid large social gatherings. The exception might be a social gathering of artists or other creative types where we all operate on the same wavelength.

Most people will assume that quiet people are depressed. (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Copyright: Katarzyna Białasiewicz)

In Regard to Mental Illness…

Vincent Van Gogh — Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear 1889 (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)
Brains constantly open to sensory input, can put you on edge, lead you to withdraw from social settings, and could very well lead to states of depression. (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Copyright : Mykola Kravchenko)

Beyond Depression…

I have no idea why mental disorders like schizophrenia happen or what fires off in the brains of these sufferers. But I do follow a couple schizophrenic artists on Instagram. Number one, they’re good artists. Number two, they both paint the things they see and hear caused by their disorder. It’s both fascinating and disturbing. I respect them both for having the courage to share publicly.

Further Reading:

The Effects of Art on Brain Health



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Myra Naito

Freelance copywriter who is passionate about art and fitness. Check out my art blog at mnatiodesigns.com/blog/ or follow me @mnaito_fineart .