Unlinking Mental Illness and Creativity


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. But the story of the mentally ill person who draws magical artistic powers from their own brokenness simply does not represent all creatives who struggle. Much of the time, what helps people work is being well.

Katie O'Brien is an English major at Cornell University, where she writes for kitsch magazine, DJs for a rock station, and complains about the cold. Find her on Twitter @abluekite. More from this author →