Q. Hi,I am an artist. I would say that I am pretty successful by most people’s standards and my work is received well. However, my profession is high stress, low on monetary security, and needs a strong ego. I worked a lot at my art. I gave it the time that it needed so I can be relatively secure in what I was doing and to get some kind of financial stability. The sad thing is that I have no real personal life, apart from a few really good friends which I cherish. I have been to therapists over the year to try and get some kind of balance but the reality is that my work cannot happen without 100% commitment and I don’t want to change my job. It gives a sense of who I am and that’s important to me. Anyway, the problem is this, and it may be a common problem for artists, I finish a successful art event and fall into a deep depression. I hide out at home, not answering the phone, letting laundry pile up, feeling … scared, overwhelmed, worthless. Is this weird? Or is this just the normal after effect of an intense involvement with something over a long period of time? Do other people get this? I have tangible proof that I am well-regarded but my life feels lonely after spending so much time intensely creating with a bunch of like-minded people. Any insight you might have would be appreciated.Is it normal to be depressed after sucess?
Is it normal to be depressed after sucess?
Your life is out of balance. You have identified your weak areas. It is not enough to recognize a mistake and do nothing about correcting it. Many famous artists suffered from mental illness. The art became the outlet for their pain, a release for their emotions. Your art likely has acted as an escape from other problems or undeveloped areas. When immersed in your art you simply did not have time to dwell on other aspects of your life. You can have both and should have both, a good life and your love of art. I would suspect that you simply have not found a good therapist. The public tends to judge therapists by the degrees that they hold and the schools that they have attended. This would be like saying that the quality of art produced by any one artist, should be judged by the art degrees he holds and the status of the art school that he graduated from. I think we both know that the art itself stands apart from the degrees that an artist holds. I believe there is no correlation between art education and the art work itself. Likewise the quality of the therapist is based on more, much more than the degrees that he or she holds. A talented artist is indeed the talented therapist. Good luck. Keep trying therapists until you find the one who can help you. I really believe you will know this therapist after one meeting with him or her.