Posts Tagged: mental illness
What would you give to be happy, fun, anxiety-free? Would you give your soul? This is the question Deirdre Coyle asks in her story “Fun Person,” up at Hobart this week. The story opens with the narrator vomiting on the sidewalk outside of a bar, but not for the obvious reasons one might vomit in such a location....more
Though it’s clichéd and maladaptive to cast mental illness as the wellspring of great writing, to write about one’s life honestly often means writing about one’s mental illness. In an essay for Catapult, Colin Dickey writes lushly about his experiences with depression, musing on the historical conceptions of melancholy and how perhaps our highly clinical and problematized category of depression could afford to be complicated by it:
What I called my depression is the feeling one gets as the world shades away, as though a silent wall of water is holding everything else at a remove.
Treatment sometimes looks like hospitalization in an overcrowded psych ward and medication that can dissolve personality.
Over at American Short Fiction, Jenna Kahn writes about the depiction of mental illness in literature—as found particularly in “The Depressed Person” by David Foster Wallace, “Silver Water” by Amy Bloom, and “Monument” by Kevin Barry—as it matches (or doesn’t) with her own experience....more
Rion Amilcar Scott’s debut collection Insurrections—our July Rumpus Book Club pick—comes out from University Press of Kentucky on Tuesday and is a timely and vital look into the daily struggles of individuals in the mostly black community of Cross River, Maryland, a fictional town that was founded by slaves in 1807 after a successful revolt....more
In her essay at Hazlitt, “Watch Me Bathe,” Jess Carroll shares that she barely bathes, and tells us that it’s for the better—in fact, it’s like reverse self-love and self-care, as we’ve come to think of those terms now. She rejects the idea that mental health is balanced on a teetering tower of meticulous hygiene routines, and that the only way to stay sane is to wash, rinse, and repeat as if unconcerned with anything else....more
The idea that “mental illness is the heart of creativity” has persisted for decades. But this idea can negatively impact one’s ability to seek help that they truly need. At The Establishment, Sarah Bronson debunks the notion that treating mental illnesses like depression unilaterally has a negative impact on one’s ability to create:
I recognize that not all mental illnesses are alike and that some people actually appreciate how their illness uniquely empowers them.
I was trained in basic cocktails by the time I was 6.
In two new books, Mariel Hemingway shares her experiences of growing up in a family plagued by mental illness and addiction and how she was able to overcome it....more
Let’s talk about sentences. Let’s talk about how poets, when they let their lines run long to prose, can make sentences sing. And if we’re going to talk about those sentences, we must also talk about details. Details, details, and more details....more
Though I did not know it then, Adeline was not just a work of fiction, or an act of literary ventriloquism. It was my suicide note. Had I succeeded in taking my life, this would have been clear.
At Lit Hub, Norah Vincent writes about the intensity of creating her Virginia Woolf novel Adeline, the link between creativity and mental illness, and how this led her to attempt taking her own life....more
I found a precedent for girls like me in the work of confessional poets Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. They represented a respectable compromise between “real literature” and my irrepressible tendency to let the personal creep into my writing. I related intensely to the ferocity and focus in their work, but I soon felt the hinges of a trap closing around me.