Owen Wilson once commented about the kinds of mood challenges so many creative people experience:
“There’s that great quote from Beckett, I think, ‘He had an abiding sense of melancholy that sustained him through brief periods of joy.’
“I like that, because I’m definitely an up-and-down person.”
He has also commented on what he enjoys about being an actor:
“I was reading some Bob Dylan interview where he said, ‘It beats nine-to-five. It beat it yesterday, it beats it today, and it will beat it tomorrow.’
“That’s how I feel. I just thank God that I’m able to make a living doing something that I can have a good time doing, and be creative.”
Wilson was hospitalized in 2010 following a reported suicide attempt.
An attorney reports the actor slit his wrists, and that he had been taking anti-depressants.
Wilson has reportedly also had drug abuse problems in the past – also an experience of many creative people – see my articles:
Wilson may have been thinking of this quote by William Butler Yeats:
“Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.”
That reminds me of quotes by actor Pierce Brosnan on experiencing self-critical feelings and thoughts.
He has commented:
“I know what it’s like to loathe oneself. To feel that deep self-loathing.
“It’s painful and ugly and f**ing unwanted.
“And it got in the way. I can dip in there, into the old black-Irish melancholy…”
From article Pierce Brosnan on being self-critical.
Anne Hathaway once told British magazine Tatler that she suffered from anxiety and depression as a teen, and had an interesting perspective on being a “different person” at the time:
“I said to Mom the other day, ‘Do you remember that girl? She has now gone, gone to sleep.
“She has said her piece and is gone.’
“But then I thought, I so remember her, only she is no longer part of me.
“I am so sorry she was hurting for so long.
“It’s all so negatively narcissistic to be so consumed with self.”
Many people might take issue with thinking of depression as “consumed with self” – it is a provocative idea.
But with my own past experience with depression, I think there is some validity to it.
From my article Anne Hathaway on her depression as a teen.
Anne Hathaway and Owen Wilson are far from alone in experiencing depression –
According to the online listing “Famous People Who Have Suffered from Depression or Manic-Depression,” people in the arts who have declared publicly they have had depression include:
Tim Burton, Francis Ford Coppola, Sheryl Crow; Ellen DeGeneres; Charles Dickens, Patty Duke; Connie Francis; Mariette Hartley; Margot Kidder; Kristy McNichol; Kate Millett; Sinead O’Connor; Marie Osmond; Dolly Parton; Bonnie Raitt; Jeannie C. Riley; Roseanne, Axl Rose, Winona Ryder, Francesco Scavullo, Lili Taylor, Tom Waits, Robin Williams and many others.
From my article Depression and Creativity.
Psychologist Mihaela Ivan Holtz works with creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts.
She also writes about the emotional and creative pleasures and challenges of their inner lives on her site Creative Minds Psychotherapy.
Here is an excerpt from one of her articles on the topic of depression:
Let’s be honest, you know you lived with depression for a while now. It comes and goes, and it never really goes away.
At times, your art is your haven where “the blues” can’t really touch you.
At other times, even your creative energy is taken away when the depression invades you in its darkest shades.
Sometimes, you think to reach out for support.
Maybe you can find some purpose or meaning.
Or, perhaps you can find a way to feel alive and inspired for more than the moments when you’re expressing your craft and finding your flow in your art.
You want to wake in the morning without being held back by the blues that keep you hostage in a lonely and disconnected world.
But what really hides beneath your depression?
Read more in my article
Creative People with Depression and Deeper Wounds