evolutionary significance of emotions !!
sisial at email.msn.com
Wed Mar 8 14:47:33 EST 2000
In chronic depression focus tends to be on external conditions; the effect
of environment on self (i.e. self-pity). So, it seems natural that you might
attribute the cause of depression to those conditions. I must point out,
however, that depression was your response to the environment. Why did you
respond to the problems through depression rather than by modifying your
behavior to fit as do the norm?
Highly creative individuals tend to be restless, and have a strong drive to
find relief through creative problem solving. Perhaps this might lead such
individuals to actively seek problems? Highly creative individuals also tend
to display a fascination with contradiction, disorder, and imbalance.
Perhaps this trait biases the individuals perceptions of a problem? An
example of these traits in action might be seen in the ingrained
contrariness common in highly creative individuals. Perhaps, by placing
themselves in conflict with their environment they ensure an abundance of
I am not familiar with studies regarding chronic depression and creativity.
The focus of my posts has been on severe depression. In cases of severe
depression self-reproach is more common than self-pity. That is, individuals
suffering from severe depression may tend to focus more on internal
conditions than on external conditions. Perfectionist tendencies seen in
many highly creative individuals may result in the development of internal
criticisms and conflicts much along the same lines as those you sense from
the world around you.
Depression seems simply an extreme response to a problem. And, creativity is
simply a method of problem solving. Nothing in this suggests that creativity
necessarily leads to depression; or that depression necessarily leads to
creativity. However, it seems unlikely that the two do not interact.
Further, the strong similarities between the symptoms of depression and
behaviors normally observed during the incubation stages of the creative
process should not be ignored. Many (not all) cases of depression may merely
be extremes of the incubation process and may play an important role in the
development of the individual. (Dabrowski's Theory of Positive
Disintegration suggests something similar).
"Etaoin Shrdlu" <cooper17.spamless at xs4all.nl> wrote in message
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