370801 tn?1264405018

Medication & Creativity - A Question for artists and writers

Hey Everyone,

My question has to do with medication and artistic talent. I take Wellbutrin and Lamictal combo - it seems to have helped me a considerable amount since starting it about 6 months ago. The Wellbutrin makes me anxious alone. I haven't been diagnosed as bipolar, although the wellbutrin alone makes me ocd / add like symptoms where I can't sit still, and my mind won't calm down and I spend too much money and just get too worked up. I don't really have full out mania - so who knows.

anyways my question is more pertaining to creativity - I am sure people have asked his before but I would like some input - I am a writer and musician - my work depends on my creativity - lately well since being medicated i haven't really written very much and have felt writer's block - not sure if its the medicine or what because I also have experienced writers block in the past unmedicated. So it could just be a time in my life.

I still have the ability to feel my emotions, cry and all that stuff and feel goosebumps when I listen to music and all that. So I don't feel numb - my brain just feels a bit like well, lost for words and empty of clever ideas compared to what I have done in the past. I still am quite young at 27 and was woondering ..

Do you think it'spossible to be a successful artist on meds?
Do you think these meds can take away from your creativity?
Is it better to learn to live with your depression and find spiritual means of dealing with issues ?

Maybe I need to meditate and read more ?

Also lately I have been allotting time each day to sit down and write.
Even if nothing great comes.

Any input would be greatly appreciated- Thank you!
10 Responses
Avatar universal
I have Schizophrenia and I think if anything my ability to write music comes out better while on meds.  I think it more effects your creative drive and not your creativity itself so if you really force it you can still do it.  For me at least it actually interfered with my writing while I was suffering from all kinds of sh*t from my mental illness.  We all experience writer's block from time to time and it might just be a coincidence.  I found now however while on meds if I have writer's block and really push it I can break through it most of the time.
370801 tn?1264405018
I just worry that my mind feels like mush when I try to write. No  brilliance. I just want to watch tv or escape it. It's depressing but i force myself instead to sit and write. I may actually come off my medication because of this.
585414 tn?1288941302
It depends on the medication. As I've posted the antipsychotic I'm on is in Phase II FDA study but as it helps on the cognitive effects of schizophrenia it increases my ability to do creative work. The mood stabilizer I take is Clonidine and the Catapres application form on the first day when it really works assists me with my creative work such as my poems and collage work (some of which are in my journal entries). One other medication I take that they may research as a mood stabilizer causes some cognitive blunting so it depends. However even with known medications some are more likely to cause cognitive blunting than others and if you are experiencing a problem with that you should speak to your psychiatrist about available options.
952564 tn?1268368647
I don't think the meds will take away your creativity. You are still the same person as you always were. I am a writer myself, and I have terrible bouts of writers block. Sometimes this happens because of my drastic moods. I can write both during hypomania and depression, but I can also have serious writers block in both. I am more able to write in a fluent manner when I am less of either or as close to "normal" as possible. Therefore, I believe a good med would actually make me more productive.

But, at the same time, creativity comes from inspiration. So even if I am in a stable state and have no inspiration, then I have nothing to work with.

889557 tn?1260150805
with me... it did change my creativity. i paint and while on lamictal i didnt do as much and the paintings were more plane, plus i produced less. when i was off my meds i was able to do more and feel more easy about doing it.. thought suffering just for the Art is NOT a good idea. im suffering everywere else in my life.
454863 tn?1208306979
i know how it is being creative and not being able to write anything.  It does suck, but if you're feeling good, I wouldn't bother.  You have more days in the future to write and be creative.  See, its creative people who have it harder than alot other people.  They also stick in their heads alot more.  So maybe when you can't think of anything to create, just do something else with your time.  In the future it will come back.
370801 tn?1264405018
Thanks all for your messages and concern - great hearing your stories - and knowing there are other creatives out there who deal with the same thing. soo....

Locked myself away for 4 days ...
Wrote from morning til night. First 3 days were ****. Last day I wrote what I consider one of the best songs I have ever written. Just shows sometimes you need topush through. As artists - its our choice when we work.. I learned that this weekend.
Just sit down and write everyday. No matter what. Eventually something worthwhile will come. I did this on my meds so it proves to me that I can again.
952564 tn?1268368647
I agree sometimes you have to push through, but sometimes you also have to realize you need a break so you don't over frustrate yourself. I'm so glad you were able to write a new song! That's awesome!

I think a big help for me is I write a web comic and I update it twice a week. It is simple writing and it only takes a few minutes. It is easier to get little inspirations than to try and write a whole chapter of a book, sometimes. I try to write down all of my new story ideas, but sometimes it doesn't work out. When I'm really burned out I just try to focus on little goals.
999692 tn?1250637950
Before I was diagnosed, I was a sculptor. I have a surreal gift for it and decided to develop it. But, problem was I only created when I was in a manic or hypomanic state. You can still be depressed during these periods, it just takes it to a severe, almost sickly beautiful level. So, I would cycle like this, creating drastically and voraciously when I was high, and when I was low berating myself for not being creative enough. Now I am burnt out on this cycle and don't want to sculpt. It isn't for me any longer.

What I am trying to say is give yourself a break. If you love it, forgive yourself when you can't do it. Even when you were off meds you went through the same things, the only difference is now you can actually see your creative process. You will be stuck in the rythym you had while unmedicated, so you will have to work to tweak it and form it anew to apply to now. Meds only take you so far, you need to stretch the rest of the way to be where you want.  
370801 tn?1264405018
vox weps
great and honest advice
thank you
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