Amazing From Torture

Posted: February 5, 2014 in mental health, Society
Tags: , , , ,

I can’t recall Phillip Seymour Hoffman ever giving a less than awesome performance. In every movie I ever saw him in, he stood out in an existential way. At least for me he did.

Sadly, there’s a price for that kind of talent. Why is it that the truly great artists in acting, music, literary etc. must suffer mental demons to take us to a deeply moving realm?

Artists are artists because they’re happy to take the observer into an alternated reality. They do or behave in ways the rest of us haven’t the courage for. The bolder the better. Civilized society dreams of reckless abandon. Artist live in it.

It’s almost impossible to be happily neutral and gifted at the same time. Seeking help and getting better can actually kill your creative edge. And then what happens to your career?

Shaving your head. Stripping in public. Stealing when you’re a millionaire. Drug and alcohol abuse. Rehab. Getting some rest. Suicide. We see it all the time. Why not just call it what it is? Self-medicating because prescribed meds dull the talent.

When I first started my bipolar cocktail, I hated the way it made me feel. I felt like a prisoner in my own body. I was off, really off. My first instinct was to go off my meds. But I didn’t. I just slept until the ‘prison’ went away. Most artists (in whatever media) don’t have that option readily available to them.

I’m not saying every great artist is or was mentally ill, but the ones that started that way have a huge burden on them. The mentally ill have distorted views of the world. This can be a very creative angle or tool. Try building a house without a hammer. It’s the same thing.


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