Episode 90: Art, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Kenneth Weene, tells the story of depression/not depression from his book, “Jumping Over the Ram”, which he co-authored with Deng, a Sudanese man who had to repress his softer feelings to survive life as a child soldier and escaping to a refugee camp. Sunday, August 12, 2018
For more information on Kenneth Weene, his books and his councilling practice:
Website is www.kennethweene.com
Amazon page is https://www.amazon.com/Kenneth-Weene/e/B002M3EMWU
Phone number is (602) 300-1830
His newest books, not yet released, are “Jumping Over the Ram” and “Red and White”.
Excerpts read on the show:
Artists and Depression: The Link Between Depression and Creativity
Where there is depression, art often seems to follow—sometimes great art. Poe, Pollock, Michelangelo, Hemingway, Keats, Gauguin, Dickens and Blake are just a few famous creative artists who are known to have suffered from terrible bouts of depression.
But how exactly do depression and art interrelate? Do depressive episodes somehow aid in the creative process, or is there something about being an artist in any creative field that predisposes one to develop depression? Psychologists and psychiatrists have studied and pondered this question for decades, and most have concluded that depression does play a role in creative output.
Creative people can become chronically frustrated because their idealism and reflective natures make it impossible for them to accept their own failures or those of society. Others without such a creative inclination may be saddened in the moment. But they’ll be far less likely to tie themselves up in knots imagining and re-imagining alternative histories that could have happened but didn’t, or should happen but never will.
Depression can be a debilitating condition, but often it is a warning sign and a cry for help. In other words, it calls for action, and those with great artistic ability naturally turn to their art to express what they’re feeling. Their depression may not be the cause of their art, but it can be a motivation for it, or a coping mechanism for it. That helps explain why so many creative people burdened with depression have managed to maintain such an impressive output of creative works.
When used to treat depression, art therapy functions as an outlet for expressing feelings that aren’t easy to put into words, or that are so repressed or hidden that they can only be revealed through the free and open channels of the creative process. Artistic practice of all types takes the artist deeper into their own subconscious, where the answers to the mysteries of mental illness are more likely to be found.
“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.” -Albert Camus