Creative people: Personality and Mental Health Webinar

Just wanted to share creativity mentor Douglas Eby’s post about Creativity and Mental Health, which includes his webinar presentation on Creative People: Personality and Mental Health for the International Bipolar Foundation.

Main topics included in the webinar:

Personality:  High Sensitivity   |  Self Concept / Self Esteem
Mental Health:  Anxiety  |  Depression  |  Trauma

Writer Juliet Bruce, PhD summarizes creativity researcher Mihaly Csikzentihalyi‘s

10 Paradoxical Traits of the Creative Personality:

A great deal of physical energy alternating with a great need for quiet and rest.

Highly sexual, yet often celibate, especially when working.

Smart and naïve at the same time. A mix of wisdom and childishness.

Convergent (rational, left brain, sound judgment) and divergent (intuitive, right brain, visionary) thinking…

Both extroverted and introverted, needing people and solitude equally

Humble and proud, both painfully self-doubting and wildly self-confident.

May defy gender stereotypes, and are likely to have not only the strengths of their own gender but those of the other as well. A kind of psychic androgyny.

Note to self from the webinar:

“Emotional pain can interfere with creativity”

Also, see if Judith Schlessinger’s The Insanity Hoax: Exposing The Myth of the Mad Genius is available at the library.


I am thinking about my own current state of mental health (not good right now but could be way worse).

I am highly sensitive.  And highly creative.

I need rest.  Gobs and gobs of it.  And I’m not getting it.

I keep pushing myself.

Pushing myself to get better.

Pushing myself to create.

Pushing myself to write, read, listen, connect and attend to the few people left in my circle (husband, daughters, a friend or two I still have left) and heal when what I really need most is rest.


Oh yeah, that just reminds me of the subpersonality called the “Pusher” in Hal and Sidra Stone’s Voice Dialogue Method.


A person with a drive to work hard and get a lot done every day would have a “Pusher” as a primary self, and its opposite would be a “Relaxed self” that could lie on a sofa watching movies all afternoon without guilt.

As an footnote…this is the third Judith that I’ve come across in my healing journey.  The third one is Judith Hermann, who wrote Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror.

Do you want to know why this is weird for me?

The narcissistic, formerly abusive and emotionally absent mother in my life shares the name, Judith.

As if I really want to be reminded of my mother during my healing journey…and yet, maybe there’s a reason?  Perhaps I’m supposed to be reminded of her.

I’m not angry at my mother anymore.  I don’t hate her anymore for what she had done.  I don’t feel sad anymore that she lives in a brand new huge home built off my grandfather’s wealth, while I can barely pay my bills.

She’s different now, more than she was when I was growing up and needed her emotionally.   As long as I don’t talk about my dad.

She does help us out sometimes.

I even called her last night because I hadn’t in a long while and there’s a part of me that needed to just say I’m still here.  And while sometimes I’d like to forget her, I don’t really want her to forget me.




About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Complex-PTSD, Creativity, depression, EMDR, Emotional Intelligence, Emotionally Absent Mother, Eye Movement Densitization and Reprocessing, Highly Sensitive Person, Hope, Madness, Making meaning, Self-medication. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Creative people: Personality and Mental Health Webinar

  1. Douglas Eby says:

    Thanks for featuring one of my posts here – and for the additional links to my sites and posts.

  2. Mr. Eby –

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

    I’ve been a longtime admirer of your work and your efforts to share your expertise on creativity, intensity, high sensitivity and developing multiple talents.

    I came from a family that did not understand multipotentiality or giftedness nor recognized creative talent nor tolerated sensitivity. I didn’t realize that was pretty common, but I do now. Most people don’t.

    I used to be high-achieving in a very practical field – biotechnology – before I became a stay-at-home mother. The past few years I’ve been developing a creative side and processing a great deal of life experience…and in the process, I think, I’m undergoing some positive disintegration. At least I hope that’s what it will be because it doesn’t feel so positive right now.

    Your articles relieve a lot of my anxiety and fear, and help me to ride out some of the more intense moments. I certainly don’t feel quite so alone and I feel that for the creative type of person that I am, I can take comfort. What I’m going through seems to make sense in light of what I read others have gone through on your sites.

    What I read there gives me courage. I am truly grateful to you.

    You once featured one of my posts on another one of my blogs on your post What Do You With Your Intensity. You featured a post I wrote on my Raising Smart Girls blog. I still am warmed any time I see someone coming to view my post from your page and it means a great deal to me.

    I think the greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of being ‘seen’.

    I wish you well in your work and your life.


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