Savant syndrome is a rare and truly extraordinary condition. Anyone familiar with the movie “Rain Man” will remember Dustin Hoffman’s memorable performance as a person with savant syndrome. It is a condition in which a person exhibits what psychiatrist and savant syndrome expert Darold A. Treffert, M.D., calls an “island of genius” in one particular area that contrasts with the overall mental handicap.
Although the concept of the “tortured artist” has long been with us, light has yet to be shed on the origin of the term and the scientific evidence behind it. However, as research continues, there are clues that may confirm the concept. Past studies have shown a link between creativity and mental illness that may change approaches to treatment. If the very presence of mental illness can generate works of art, perhaps certain mental states should be respected as having some value in their own right.
Movies and books have long portrayed the anguished author, tortured by mental demons penning powerful prose. History reveals that many famous creators in the arts had a traumatic early life experience which doesn’t necessarily mean that the trauma was responsible for the creativity. Creating can be therapeutic for individuals with pre-existing mental illness and research has shown that creative writing benefits people who have suffered trauma.
Depression is a complicated disease and the amount of knowledge about it is steadily growing. However, despite this, there is still a great deal of misinformation about this disorder. For example, there is a common belief that most cases of depression happen around the holidays while in actual fact, most happen during the summer. Following are some little known facts about depression: Continue reading
Sleepwalking is usually portrayed in movies by showing a slumbering person slowly walking while asleep with arms outstretched. The reality is that sleepwalking can be a potentially dangerous situation that affects both adults and children.
Depression does not discriminate based on race, gender or occupation. Any individual can develop symptoms of depression, sometimes never overcoming the mental health condition. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America profiled “Marc,” a man who struggled immensely with depression. While Marc attempted to function in society, depression continuously made life difficult.
Depression is an all-encompassing disease that can happen to any person at any time. Contrary to popular belief, depression presents physical symptoms as well as emotional ones. It is not simply a temporary feeling of sadness, but a potentially long-term debilitating condition. People with depression lose interest in pursuits that formerly brought pleasure and may isolate themselves from friends and family members to avoid social interaction. Expecting a person to “snap out” of depression is comparable to asking a person on crutches to start walking again. Continue reading
Roughly 40 million Americans suffer from depression every day, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Depression is a mental illness characterized by extreme feelings of sadness, hopelessness, low self-worth and the general inability to enjoy life. These feelings often can carry over into all aspects of an individual’s life, thereby having a negative effect on relationships with family and friends. Continue reading