The Link Between Drug Use and Suicidal Tendencies: An Alternative Explanation
It is common knowledge that artists, actors, singers and comedians are much more likely to die through some combination of drug use and suicide than ‘normal’ people. But why is that so? These creative types also have a higher incidence of mental ‘illness’ especially depression and mania. But why? Is there something about being creative that makes them more susceptible to mental illness and drug abuse or are un-‘normal’ states of mind necessary for being creative? The conventional explanations put forth by charlatans.. I mean ‘experts’.. range from denying that this phenomena is true using creative statistical fraud to acknowledging the link but talking about treating these ‘diseases’ and helping them become ‘normal’ again.
But what is ‘normal’ and why would anyone aspire to be ‘normal’ if their self-image, desires and lives are built around being un-‘normal’?
One of the distinguishing characteristics of being creative is the ability to perceive, think up or do something that is beyond the mental abilities of most people. I am not implying that ‘normal’ people are any worse than creative-types at doing arithmetic, making grocery shopping lists, cooking food, having vanilla sex, working in an office or even playing musical instruments. But ‘normal’ people are dismal at seeing, thinking or doing things that go beyond their very and rigid mental and social models of the world around them.
There are tons of Asian kids who can play some piece of western classical music on the violin, piano or cello- but how many can play an electric guitar like Jimi Hendrix. Artists such as Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dali might have very unconventional personal lives, but they were also vastly more creative than all the Asian artist workers who can make very good copies of famous artworks. We are also unlikely to see an Asian version of Mozart, Schubert or Beethoven or their more contemporary versions. There are tons of famous Jewish and Black stand-up comics, but hardly any Asian ones. Why? and what does this have to do with high rates of drug use, mental illness and suicide among those who are creative?
All forms of creativity require you to step outside of your normal comfort zones- both personal and social. However doing that requires you to think and perceive the world in ways that is contrary to what society expects out of you or tries to tell you. You have to also question whether what you were taught to believe in or whether the ‘norm’ is even right, worthwhile or desirable. People without a strong sense of self (aka conformists) don’t or cannot and would rather be ‘pretend happy’ automatons pumping out more automatons. While some of them can recognize the dystopic nature of their existence they either ignore it, suppress it or perform a half-hearted and token rebellion to feel better.
The truly creative ones, on the other hand, go beyond half-hearted attempts to think differently and assert themselves. They are willing to take paths that few dare follow or which frequently do not even exist at that moment. Whether they are successful in their endeavors, or not, is another issue that we will come to shortly. However the very willingness to go against conventional social beliefs and mores in one area often makes them question the validity of ‘conventional wisdom’ in other areas.
Furthermore, thinking about human behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, relationships and society from a somewhat detached perspective cannot but make you angry, depressed, cynical and nihilistic.
If you don’t believe me, ask yourself- What is good about schools or universities? Do people really learn anything worthwhile in them? Do they enjoy their time- especially in school? Isn’t that odd that children like to learn new things all the time but hate school. What about conventional dating? Is it worth the time, expense and effort? What about marriage? Is there a more expensive and fucked up way to get ‘free’ sex. What about jobs? Do you like working your ass off for someone who looks down upon you and will steal from and betray you at the first chance to do so. What about the socio-economic paradigms we live in? What is natural about a society where most people live a precarious existence to enrich those who have more than they could possibly spend in the rest of pathetic lives? What about the myriad laws and regulations which pretend to enforce fairness, but achieve the opposite- which is their real purpose anyway. I could go on.. but you get my point.
There is nothing natural, rational or desirable about a ‘normal’ life.
I see the high rates of recreational drug use by creative types as a way to help them function somewhat normally after realizing the truth about what most people, societies and humanity are in reality. Drug use by creative types is really a form of self-medication that allows them to escape or tolerate the mediocre, stunted and frequently bizarre nature of ‘normal-ness’. Drug use also allows people to make themselves feel better than they could in ‘real’ life. The experience of drug use, if anything, consolidates their views that ‘real’ and ‘normal’ life is shitty, boring, highly dysfunctional and meaninglessness.
I believe that a significant number of creative types, especially those who have achieved some success, realize that ‘normal’ life is actually worse than death.
Would you re-enter the matrix even if you could, especially if you left if because it was intolerable in the first place? Would you like to be an average pussy-whipped white guy moving his lawn and slaving away for his ugly and ungrateful wife who is trying her best to make the rest of his life as miserable as possible? Do you want to work around one set of mediocre weasels at work and hang out with another set in your sad ‘social’ life? Do you want to spend your life slaving away for something that you will almost certainly be yanked away at the last moment? Do you want to keep on pretending that you are ‘normal’ and a team-player when you despise every moment of it?
On another note, why are the most creative minds often described as weird, odd or mentally ill? What does that say about the society which curiously (and often later) celebrates them as the paragons of human intellectual achievement? and how come people with actual mental retardation, brain injury or damage almost never end up as famous creative types? Odd isn’t it?
What do you think? Comments?