Tag Archives: depression

The Sylvia Plath Effect

From the sick and twisted files…

There’s research ’bout writers, shall have you amazed.
People who write, they tend to be crazed.
Struggling with life, conflicted and torn.
From deep in their psyche, creativity’s born.

Specifically, something that shouldn’t surprise.
A dynamic most writers would likely surmise.
‘Tis based on the poet Sylvia Plath.
There’s a complex disorder, many poets does hath.

The Sylvia Plath Effect, what it’s been named.
Poets doth suffer, that’s what is claimed.
Depression and sadness and other conditions,
Drives all these folks to their writing ambitions.

The deep, inward thoughts they scroll on the pages.
Unquestionably not because of the wages.
Something compels them to write what they write.
To document all of their internal plight.

Now Sylvia Plath, couldn’t deal with her strife.
At the young age of thirty she ended her life.
Into her oven she placed down her head.
Turned on the gas and soon she was dead.

That set me to wonder, am I mad as a hatter?
I like to write verse, what does that matter?
They’re not really poems they’re just silly rhymes.
They make people chuckle most of the times.

Seuss wasn’t crazy, least not that I’ve heard.
His stories are poems, yet often preferred,
by children, worldwide, just starting to read.
One of the greatest, you’d surely concede.

So I think I’m okay, I’ve not been affected.
The Sylvia Plath Effect’s not been detected.
Some people may think I am slightly eclectic.
The good news, my oven runs on electric!

There is lots of fascinating information out there regarding the tendency of creative writers (and in general, artists, writers, musicians and other creative types) to suffer from all sorts of personality disorders and it begs the chicken and egg question… which comes first the creativity or the mental health issues?  Think how often someone posts about writing being therapeutic. What are your thoughts? Do you write because you’re crazy…. or does writing just drive you crazy? 🙂

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S.A.D.

I love winter.  I love a fresh coating of snow.  I love ice skating on the lake near us and sledding with the kids.  I love firing up our wood stove and sitting near it on cold wintry nights.  Yeah, I love winter… for the first couple months.  I start hating winter right about now, at the end of January, early February, when I know there’s still two to three months to go.  In our part of Michigan, probably all of Michigan, this time of year, it’s horribly gloomy all the time.  It snows a little bit (or a lot) almost every single day, the sun is rarely shining, everything is gray and depressing.  It seems like during the last week or so, every day there has been this mix of snow and freezing rain that covers all the cars in a thick layer of ice that has to be scraped off the windows.  Driving around is treacherous. It’s always cold.  Ugh!

Supposedly there’s a disorder that people, primarily in Northern Climates, can get called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  It’s depression caused basically by being in a gray, depressing, shitty, sunless place for months on end.  I never really believed that this was a real problem for people.  In fact, it sounds like a crock of shit to me, but I looked it up in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association) and apparently it is a documented condition.  The DSM-IV reports the Clinical Features as:

Characteristic symptoms of SAD are those of depression, which include dysphoria, feeling low, decreased in energy and activity, increased irritability, concentration difficulties, anxiety, decreased libido and social withdrawal. Unlike classically depressed patients, most SAD patients develop ‘atypical’ symptoms of increased fatigue, increased sleep duration and increased appetite and weight. Not only do SAD patients crave carbohydrates, but also they actually report eating more carbohydrate-rich foods in the winter.

Wow, that’s some serious shit… and just from the weather?  I don’t know…I might have some of those symptoms but I still question whether it isn’t just some crazy-concocted disease for people to use as an excuse to sit on their ass all winter.  I mean sure, sometimes I feel a little down when it’s cold and gloomy and gray outside, but the way I figure it I’ll just write my way through it!

 So, let me tell you about my day today.

When I got up for work this morning I was Sick As a Dog.  I probably should have just stayed home, but I felt obligated to get up and go to work.  I got out of bed, Showered And Did my usual morning routine, Swallowed A Dose of cold medicine before leaving and then got on the road.  I Saw A few Deer on the way to work which cheered me up a bit.  The drive was Slow And Dangerous.  With all the Snow And Drizzly rain, the roads were icy but I made it on time.  I don’t think I am sick enough to go See A Doctor, but all I really want to do today is Sleep And Drink tea.  My throat is Scratchy And Dry and my body is achy.  If I could only just go somewhere where there is Sand And Drinks and where it’s Sunny And Dry.  That sounds so Satisfying And Delightful.  But instead I am here Slaving Away Diligently at work, Sitting At my Desk and dealing with Stupid, Arrogant, Dumbass customers.  Boy, I guess I am feeling kind of Solemn And Down today.  Maybe this whole Seasonal Affective Disorder is real.  Maybe when the Sun Ain’t Doing its job, people really do get Sad And Depressed. I Sure As hell Don’t know.  I’m just looking forward to this Shitty Ass Day ending.  I can’t wait to get home and see my wife.  She’s so Sexy And Dreamy, that should cheer me up.  If I do have it, I just hope this Seasonal Affective Disorder doesn’t start to affect my writing.  I’m just starting to feel so Successful At Delivering great blog posts.  And when you can’t do that anymore, well that sure Sucks Ass, Doesn’t it?

Nah, I still don’t believe it… Seasonal Affective Disorder… there’s no way I have that Silly Absurd Disease.

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