Tuesday, May 06, 2008

TO READ: My New York Times Online Letter
Last week's science and health page of the New York Times (It comes out on Tuesdays and often has great brain, psychology, and mental health articles -- and it's free online.) had a book review entitled "Quieting the Demons and Giving Art a Voice." It described two new books on aspects of creativity and mental illness. I'm sure I'll read both soon, and likely enjoy them, but one of the conclusions drawn from both is that depression silences people's creative voice.

But no! My new book, Writing through the Darkness: Easing Your Depression with Paper and Pen (available online now; in bookstores June 1), provides evidence that in fact creative writing can be used to help work through even a deep depression. So I wrote back, and my letter appeared in this morning's NYT online edition: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/health/06weblett-ARTANDMENTAL_LETTERS.html?ref=science

Check it out, and you can also link from the letter back to the original article. I'd love to hear what you think. I believe it's crucial that people with depression, bipolar, or other mental illnesses -- especially those newly-diagnosed -- understand that this does not spell the end of their creative life. Although it certainly will present new challenges, I believe our creative life can actually be fed by our mental difficulties if approached correctly. And I believe our creativity can help heal us too.

No comments: