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Unread 06-28-2006, 10:57 PM   #1
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Default Creativity and anti-depressants/anti-anxiety drugs?

I've been looking for a therapist to help me manage my depression (sounds like dysthymia to me, but I can't diagnose myself, obviously!) and anxiety. I have some OCD issues, but they're not really bad. Anyway, I've thought about going on some kind of drug to make me feel better mentally, but I'm scared that it will affect my creativity.

I sing, write short stories and lyrics, and draw. Someday, I would like to have my work published and put on concerts, so creativity is a very important part of my life. I've read some stories on the Internet about people who have completely lost the desire to do anything creative since going on medication, and I would be horrified if that happened to me. That's why I came here--to talk to people directly, who can offer their own experiences and maybe reassure me. Have you experienced decreased or increased creativity, or no change whatsoever? Should I just try therapy alone for awhile and see how that helps? I don't feel incredibly depressed or anything, but I often feel sad, restless, and worry a lot.

Thanks, everyone, for whatever you can offer.
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Unread 06-29-2006, 02:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Creativity and anti-depressants/anti-anxiety drugs?

Some people experience a sort of "numbness" or lack of passion about things they were formerly interested in, but that doesn't happen to everyone. It did happen to me. But you're not mentally unaware of it, although it can be subtle, and if that happens, you can go off the meds (under your doctor's care; don't go off them too soon, or you could have some bad withdrawal symptoms). I am also doing that, and I'm at a much lower dosage than my highest dosage, and the passion is coming back, so it's not permanent.

Hope this helps.
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Unread 06-29-2006, 02:48 AM   #3
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Unread 06-29-2006, 01:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Creativity and anti-depressants/anti-anxiety drugs?

I'm on anti-depressants and it hasn't affected me creativity any! Anxiety will do a much better job of killing your creativity than depression for SURE!
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Unread 06-30-2006, 04:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: Creativity and anti-depressants/anti-anxiety drugs?

Just so I was being clear, loss of creativity or anything else doesn't happen to everyone. And I wasn't uncreative; I still came up with ideas for writing and drawing. I'm just saying my interest in some things wasn't as strong as before.

As SeptemberMorn said, anxiety and depression can affect creativity, so the drugs may help you be more creative if they help those problems. As I said, you can try them, and you always have the option of turning back, if you find it doesn't work for you.
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Unread 06-30-2006, 05:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Creativity and anti-depressants/anti-anxiety drugs?

some of my best photographs have come during my lowest lows.
 
Unread 06-30-2006, 06:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Creativity and anti-depressants/anti-anxiety drugs?

Yeah... I purposed did not mention Depression. I've written some of my best stuff during some of my lowest lows. It's the anxiety that kills it all for me.

Whether I'm depressed or not, if I choose, I can be creative. The depression, however, colors what I do. My writing is all about sadness and pain. When I'm not depressed, I tend to not write and do more "playful" things. After all, it's the "inner child" that does the creating.
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Unread 07-02-2006, 05:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Creativity and anti-depressants/anti-anxiety drugs?

In my opinion, anything that has an effect on your mood or well being will affect your creativity. So may famous artists, musicians and actors have chosen not to take medication in fear of this.

I have been playing piano for a long time and lost the passion for about 4 years. I would give anything to get those 4 years back but I have come to accept the fact that I needed to sacrifice that in order to deal with the mental challenges that I have faced.

I hope you keep that passion alive but if you lose it, be patient with yourself because it will come back, no doubt.

~Lia

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Unread 07-03-2006, 08:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Creativity and anti-depressants/anti-anxiety drugs?

Does creativity suffer at the expense of medications for mental illnesses? This has been a hot topic for may years. Why? Well, because sometimes creativity is stifled by meds - especially SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, etc. But this is not set in stone. In fact, people find that when they get relief from their symptoms of depression, anxiety, etc., that they are better able to focus on their artistry - painting, writing, music, etc. I agree with what others have posted - that many times musicians, artists are reluctant to get the treatment they need in fear of losing their "creativity." We hear so many times via the media, magazine articles, etc., that many of our most celebrated artists are just that because they fed off their "demons" in order to create. But you've got to keep things in perspective - treatment for mental illness then has dramatically changed compared to the tools we have today.

I am a musician and have been reluctant to be on meds for fear it would dampen my creativity. However, I've never had this happen - quite the opposite. If you do find a med is making you feel plain and compromising your creativity, there are augmentation strategies to help offset this and many times switching to another med in the same class or another med in a different class will work better.

The goal of any medication or med cocktail is to get your symptoms into remission and to restore you to your "normal" self. Don't be afraid to tell your doctor that a med is helping - but is causing a decline in your desire to be creative. Most doctors will be happy to work with you to find the right fit. Psychopharmacology is not an exact science and sometimes it may take a couple med trials to find the best one for you.

So hang in there! Hope this helps!

Jerry
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Unread 07-25-2006, 06:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Creativity and anti-depressants/anti-anxiety drugs?

I'm taking drugs for bipolar & can tell my creativity is down, as well as my memory & spelling ability. I used to write while depressed (more melancholy types of essays--memoirs) & then when I was manic I wrote comedic pieces. I also never needed to use a dictionary. Now I need one for the simpliest words. I miss the writing capability & memory. I've brought it up to my meds provider, but I just didn't have the good mood control on anything else. I actually mourn for that lost part of me.
 
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