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Creative Chaos

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  1. Introduction
  2. Suicide and the Renaissance
  3. Manic-depressive illness
  4. The problems faced in Latin America
  5. Charlotte Gilman
  6. Conclusion
  7. Works cited

Suicide. The mere mention of the word makes most of us disturbingly uncomfortable. Yet, just as we run outside, and down the street wearing only a bathrobe, transfixed by a cavalcade of emergency vehicles' flashing lights, urgently needing to know ?what happened,? our morbid curiosity about suicide overcomes our apprehension. Sure we're squeamish and will deal with it only if we can act like adolescents, hiding their eyes (with open hands) or covering their heads (with see-through blankets) while watching ?scary? movies. Despite our fear and outrage, we are still compelled to sneak a peek!

[...] It was filled with studies and research data proving there is a definite link between mental illness, suicide and creative individuals. Besides being shockingly fascinating, was it any coincidence that my friend was a talented writer? Is it surprising to learn too, am a dedicated writer and have dabbled in many other creative pursuits, including art, drama, music and dance? Moreover, oddly, prior to my friend's death, life's journeys took me on alternative paths and I hadn't engaged in any type of writing endeavor for quite some time. [...]

[...] She had been depressed for most of her 36 years and besides being skeptical that anything would help, was afraid medication may prohibit her creative output. Before beginning treatment, she brought a portfolio of her work so the doctor could witness any effect it made on her artistic ability. Dr. Friedman commented, stark black and white photos, she had captured the homeless and poor. Her kinship with the dispossessed was obvious, and the images were sad and moving.? She began treatment and within two months noticed her lifelong pessimism, insomnia and fatigue had lifted. [...]

[...] For centuries, stories about famous writers, artists and musicians taking their lives, raised many eyebrows, while scientists tried to make a connection between manic depression and creative output. Van Gogh, Mark Rothko, Anne Sexton, Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf all committed suicide, while writers Dickinson, Eliot, Poe, Emerson, Faulkner, Ibsen and Tolstoy suffered from some form of depressive illness. Writers weren't the only group affected, as great artists, including Gauguin, Jackson Pollock, Michelangelo and O'Keefe, and musicians/composers Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter also were known to have mental illness. [...]

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