Hello World Out There World!
I am going to start off with stating that there is a Trigger Warning for this post. We will be discussing depression, suicide, and mental health in this post which may bother some of you or affect some of you. With that said, you have been warned.
The discussion below is a combination of two questions I was asked to answer during an author’s interview a few weeks back for Serious Reading and I thought that sharing some of what we discussed would be both something different and give you my view on these issues. If you want to read more of my interest with Serious Reading CLICK HERE.
All right, now that that is out of the way – let’s begin:
Writers are permanently depressed; how true is that?
I can see how some people would believe that. There are writers that have written about their depression or have become victims of suicide. Many of the greats we study today were depressed, or suffered from some mental health issues. But, just as there are writers that suffer from permanent depression there are those that have never and will never suffer from a mental health disorder.
To answer your question, I don’t think it is true because it depends on the writer and every writer is different.
Personally, I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety. The important part was that I recognized the problem and got help. I spoke with people that helped me find ways to cope with my mental health but there are those out there that never seek help or never require the help they need.
Being aware of your mental health and looking for ways of educating yourself or getting help with managing your mental health is important. It saddens me that in a time where we have so much knowledge we have yet to really approach the subjects of mental health.
Sure, there are brief mentions of it when we lose someone famous we admire to suicide. Their loss sparks a short discussion but there is so much we as a society need to do to change the way we think about mental health.
Poets and writers in general, have a reputation of committing suicide; in your opinion, why is that the case?
I think poets and writers are empathetic people that are tuned into the world. That could be both a good thing and a bad thing. The good out of being one with the world is that you see the beauty and the potential it holds. You catch the connections between people or the environment and find ways of creating that emotional connection through words. Many writers (Shakespeare, Poe, Wolfe, Bronte) all have a way of putting humanity in their works and painting this world that is so close to our own while still giving us a sense of disconnect. This is a talent some have naturally, while for others – like myself – work at building.
The bad part about being connected to the world is that you see the horrific truths many aren’t aware of. You catch sight of the darkness in people and some writers even confront the darkness within themselves. Everyone has demons that whisper in the back of their minds nasty realizations, but writers tap into those whispers and sometimes don’t have the strength to stop listening. It is at that point that writers can’t see that beauty but instead see the world in a tainted light where only pain and suffering thrive.
I think every writer/person is able to deal with the negatives in different ways. Some are able to find ways back to the rose tinted glasses world that the majority of society lives in, while others aren’t so lucky. It’s those unlucky ones that don’t see hope and don’t have the strength to pull themselves out… who think they’re alone… that add to the reputations that writers/ poets generally commit suicide.
I want to know what you think.
Do you agree with my answers to these questions? Do you disagree? If you disagree, tell me why. I would love to get a discussion started in the comments down below. 🙂