The dark side of being creative


Ive noticed that many musicians…

Struggle with somethings like drugs, and other stuff…

My question is this…

does being creative and having imagination come with an existential price?


Creativity is driven by emotions dark, light, somewhere in between.
My answer would be no, until the passion goes to obsession…


I’d say it’s more of an outlet for our issues, really. Or at least it is for me, and I have a lot of them.

I could say a lot more about it, but it kind of puts me in a vulnerable place. The short version is that I wouldn’t be pouring myself into projects all the time if I had a normal life, I’d be doing normal things instead.


i think just alot of folks struggle with stuff period. as slime said, it’s an outlet and i think that makes it more visible to the world, perhaps for all our benefit. how many busyness bros do you think have cocain addictions, or how many blue collar workers are alcoholics? i think alot of them find some comfort in someone who’s job it is to express these feelings and struggles, letting them know they’re not alone in feeling that way.

on the other hand being neurotypical maybe does lend itself to people looking for ways to express themselves because they feel misunderstood. i dont know what the chicken and the egg is there. would someone with a creative imagination and no known predispositions to mental health issues be nonetheless predisposed to developing stuff due to simply looking at things a little differently? hard to say but i don’t think its that easy of a straight line to draw there, especially since there are so many variables at play that it would be close to impossible to draw that as a clear conclusion.


As many of you altready noted, causuality is hard to determine in this context. I think it can be both cause and effect of psychological issues, but doesn’t have to be. I don’t think that creativity and imagination per se are problematic in this context. But doing something creative opens up a lot of doors for positive as well as negative results. Imho there def are some factors that increase the danger of negative effects of creative work (and probably also factors that increase the probability that certain issues lead to creative work), such as:

  • doing it for success or any form of external validation
  • taking yourself too serious
  • strong perfectionism
  • problems with self-esteem in general or with accepting negative feedback
  • constant upward comparisons if they are a source of negative feelings
    …and so on…

But yeah, a very interesting question for sure!