Creativity vs. Psychological Health of Anne Sexton

1173 WordsMar 27, 20105 Pages
A number of creative individuals have taken their own lives, including John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, and many other writers. The large number of such cases suggests that there may be a functional relationship between creativity and psychological health. This relationship seems to vary across domains, with the rate of suicide especially high in certain groups of artists. This may suggest that there may be something unique to those domains that either draws suicide-prone persons into the domain or has an impact on the individual such that suicide is considered and often attempted. When the poem writing by Anne Sexton entitled Her Kind you can closely compare how Anne’s mental health affected her poetry and how her poetry…show more content…
There is some evidence that Sexton's mother was jealous about her very early writing (Long). Sexton did not have obvious creative aspirations, but instead seemed to think more about a family of her own. At one point her mother accused her of plagiarism and had that particular writing examined. It was deemed to be original, but many scholars suggest this incident affected Sexton's relationship with her mother. Sexton's aunt on her father's side attempted suicide in early childhood, lived several decades in an apparently stable marriage, and eventually committed suicide just before she turned seventy. The family believes that if her aunt's suicide had any sort of influence on Sexton, it was probably informational (e.g., the aunt modeling suicide) rather than genetic. Biographers place great emphasis on Sexton's psychiatric treatment, which was significant as evidenced by the content of her poetry. And, it is possible, given her nonconformism that Sexton suffered from a borderline personality disorder. There are reports of her schizophrenic language, for instance, as well as her tendency to enter some sort of trance at the end of her psychiatric treatment sessions. She apparently did not want to end the sessions, perhaps because of emotional and social needs. “Sexton’s writing seems so personal she is often labeled a ‘confessional’ poet” Anne did not agree with this title and preferred

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