Benefits Of Depression By Nancy Andreasen

844 Words Nov 20th, 2015 4 Pages
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 in their ruminative spiral, their accomplishments become invisible and their minds only become interested in what has gone wrong. There’s some suggestive evidence that states unhappiness can actually improve one’s expressive abilities. Joe Forgas, a social psychologist at the University of New South Wales in Austrialia, said he has found that sadness correlates with clearer and more compelling sentences, and that negative moods “promote a more concrete, accommodative and ultimately more successful communication style” (Lehrer, Jonah). As Roland Barthes observed, “A creative writer is one for whom writing is a problem.” Because those who are depressed are more critical of what they are writing, they produce more refined prose, the sentences…

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