Benefits Of Depression By Nancy Andreasen

Decent Essays
A much more positive way to see depression is to look at benefits of depression. Nancy Andreasen argues that depression is closely associated with a “cognitive style” that makes people more likely to produce successful works of art (Lehrer, Jonah). One of the most important qualities in the creative process is persistent and based on Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Andreasen found that “successful writers are like prizefighters who keep on getting hit but won’t go down. They’ll stick with it until it’s right” (Lehrer, Jonah). While depression is a burden, many forms of creativity benefit from the relentless focus it makes possible. In addition, there is the virtue of self-loathing, which is one of many symptoms of depression. When people are stuck…show more content…
Edgar Alan Poe, Ludwig van Beethovan, William Blake, Kurt Cobain, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, John Keats, Michelangelo, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sylvia Plath: all of these brilliant minds were haunted by depressive spirits. One can see and hear and feel it in their work: the pain, the tumult, the heartache, the agony, the apathy.
Another benefit includes mental and emotional clarity. When one has lived with a depressive mindset for almost all of his/her life, he/she learns that everything, without exception, carries some form of inherent value, and intrinsic beauty. As paradoxical as this may sound, depression can help a person understand that life is, indeed, too important to be taken seriously. Lara Honos, a clinical psychologist in San Francisco states, “the social withdrawal that comes with depression can help you change something in your life that’s broken—and once you’ve gone through it, you can be stronger and more resilient because of the experience” (Graves, Ginny). While medication, such as antidepressants, may forestall psychological suffering, it also may rob the brain’s ability to reconfigure pain into wisdom and grit—both of which will serve the depressed person well for the rest of his/her life. Mark Seery, PhD, lead author and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Buffalo claims, “Having to deal with challenges may toughen us up and leave us better equipped to deal with subsequent
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