When Depression Takes Its Toll on a Writer

A number of writers have discovered the benefits of writing as a form of therapy. Through writing, they have found a better way to unleash their anger, frustration, and aggression. With each and every stroke of the pen, a number of published authors, as well as aspiring writers, have found comfort in their writings. Through self-expression, they have found a method to manage their frustration and behavior. During struggling times, writers have found the pen and paper, as well as the computer as dependable companions.

On the other hand, not everyone has experienced happiness and freedom through writing. As a matter of fact, many people have found writing as being a way to escape briefly from their fears and struggles. And yet for all their productive writing, they nonetheless were unable to find meaning and hope in being creators of words.

Ernest Hemingway was such a writer. He also happens to be one of the most famous people in history who committed suicide as a result of depression. On July 2, 1961, Hemingway pointed a shotgun to his head and pulled the trigger that ended his life.

As a Nobel Prize-winning author who wrote several bestselling books including the Old Man and the Sea and Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway found fame and fortune through his literary style which was frequently characterized as crisp and understated. In spite of his wealth and popularity, Hemingway struggled for a long time with serious depression and alcohol addiction. During the course of his life, Hemingway had experienced many physical injuries as well as illnesses. He had five concussions, survived two plane crashes, four car accidents, as well as a motorcycle accident.

Hemingway also experienced high blood pressure, a liver disease, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. But perhaps the most difficult situation that he encountered was the never-ending battle while fighting extreme depression. Biographers have indicated several possible factors for Hemingway’s depression. Some point out that his horrifying experience as a medic during World War I might have subjected him to a mental breakdown. He was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a disease which was not yet named during that time. However, many literary experts believe that Hemingway suffered from a psychological condition.

Other individuals believe that Hemingway’s unhappy relationship with his mother was one of the origins of his stress and anxiety. Based on some of the reports, Hemingway’s mother was a very dominating individual who would not freely express love and affection for her son. It is said that Hemingway received a handgun from his mother as a birthday present. That particular handgun was actually used by Hemingway’s father to kill himself. It was another tragic event that may have brought on the extreme despair that would traumatize the famous author for the majority of his life.

Much of his written material reflects the conflicts and the destructive relationships between his male and female characters; possibly reflecting on his own life and relationships. Prior to that fateful event, Hemingway was, in fact, going through Electro-Convulsive Therapy, a method that was intended to make him feel better. Sad to say, the therapy had presumably worsened his psychological condition due to the fact that this particular method brought about Hemingway’s memory loss. In his own words, Hemingway held accountable for this particular type of therapy as the main reason for putting him out of business.

Today, we have access to more and better effective depression treatment methods and techniques. In addition to anti-depression medications, people experiencing depression can also receive counseling through discussion. In the event that self-expression such as writing does not provide relief from depression, individuals struggling with psychological disorders should immediately consult their doctor as well as other health professionals in order that early treatments can be applied. With today’s medications as well as therapy, psychological disorders do not have to take a deadly toll on human life.

Tony is a #freelance #photographer and #writer specializing in #lifestyle/#travel, and #fine #art. Enjoys traveling and learning new #cultures.

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