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The Destructive Nature Of A Creative Mind

The world of creativity is certainly not untouched by mental health disorders. For years, psychologists have studied the possible link between the creative industries and the struggle with mental illness. This encapsulates many forms, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, PTSD/trauma, stress and so much more.

The fashion industry is an example of this, fashion is a form of expression and communication, creative minds are overstimulated and without this constant stimulation, mental health starts to deteriorate in different ways, shapes and forms. Statistically, people in the fashion industry are 25% more likely to have a mental illness than any other industry.

Alexander McQueen (1969-2010) and Kate Spade (1962-2018) are an example of how a person can have a profound eye for design, major brand success and a lifetime of achievements in the half a lifetime they had to make an impact, but still face mental challenges strong enough to surrender all they have become and leave behind a cascade of supporters and a legacy that will never be forgotten. Mental illness doesn’t just exist among people struggling with external factors, these two are an indicator of that, even the most successful household names are attacked by their own demons.

A friend of mine is currently trying to break into the fashion industry themselves and I consider them to be an extremely creative person, they thrive to be effervescent when in reality the mental struggle is the most prominent personality trait they have, the majority of the time. The anxiety they feel effects them to the extent of hindering their work ethic, preventing them from wanting to do new things and creating a social

barrier that restricts them from thriving in social situations.

They rely on comfort and familiarity to keep their mind from

overthinking and overworking, however in the creative industry, these things do not attract success. Another source close to me often finds herself in the same position, ‘anxiety is the contradiction of your brain and your body, there is a constant battle with conflicting emotions and desires. It is essentially handcuffs for your brain.’

Creativity is an outlet for people’s emotions, this unfortunately means it harnesses the power to make or break a person. The fashion industry is a lethal one, it is full of competitiveness and criticism and not everyone is built to survive some of the trauma that comes with the career.

Creativity isn’t always an indicator of bad mental health; however, it is also a huge factor in good mental health. Zorana Ivcevic Pringle found that people who engaged in everyday forms of creativity, tended to be more open-minded, curious, persistent, positive, energetic and intrinsically motivated by their activity. Those scoring high in everyday creativity also reported feeling a greater sense of well-being and personal growth compared to those who engaged less. Creating has also been proven to be therapeutic for those who already suffer with mental illness, this however is when creativity is used as hobby not as a career. When the pressures of a creative career weigh in on the situation, it’s a whole other ball game.

Mental health is seen as a taboo subject, having negative connotations leading to failures of asking for help. Normalising mental health could tremendously help people’s comfortability when it comes to seeking guidance and support.

Words By Evie Trodden


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