Why Being a Tortured Artist is Unhealthy

Carla Tensuan

Carla Tensuan

Photo by Yaopey Yong from Unsplash

As freelancers, we want to express ourselves creatively. We strive to tell our stories, our truths, and our passions. But sometimes, in the pursuit of creative expression, we become what is known as a “tortured artist.”

A tortured artist is someone who suffers emotionally and mentally as a result of their creative pursuits. While there is no doubt that creative expression can be beneficial for mental health, being a tortured artist is unhealthy and can lead to various issues. This blog post will explore why being a tormented artist is unsuitable for freelancers.

Creative expression and mental health

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Expressing your creativity can be a powerful tool for managing mental health. It can help us reflect on our emotions, process our thoughts and feelings, and express ourselves in a meaningful way. Research suggests creative activities can reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and improve physical health.

However, when our creative pursuits become a source of stress and mental health concerns, we must take a step back and evaluate how we can better manage our outlook.

What is a tortured artist?

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A tormented artist is someone deeply affected by their creative endeavors. This can manifest in various ways, such as feeling overwhelmed by the creative process, feeling like your work is never good enough, or feeling like you’re not living up to your potential as a creative freelancer. A tormented artist can feel like they are constantly on the brink of mental and emotional collapse, unable to cope with the pressures and expectations they must meet.

Why is being a tortured artist unhealthy?

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Being a troubled artist can be incredibly unhealthy. Not only can it lead to concerns such as depression and anxiety, but it can also create a vicious cycle of self-doubt and negative self-image. Here, we’ll explore three main reasons why being a tormented artist is not healthy for any freelancer.

High stress levels

It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the creative process and the pressure to produce quality work. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, fear, and self-doubt, all of which can have a detrimental effect on your mental health. Furthermore, the stress of looking at the world through the eyes of a troubled artist can lead to coping mechanisms such as procrastination, avoidance, and self-sabotage.

Negative self-image

When we constantly feel overwhelmed, inadequate, and like our work is never good enough, it can be easy to start feeling like we’re not good enough. This can lead to damaging beliefs about ourselves, such as feeling like we don’t have enough talent or are not good enough to succeed in our creative pursuits.

Depression and anxiety

Feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, which can be incredibly debilitating and challenging to manage. Furthermore, depression and anxiety make it even harder to cope and focus on our creative pursuits.

Look at the world through play and positivity

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Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to avoid being so hard on yourself. Remember that creativity is a process, and your work doesn’t have to be perfect to succeed. Additionally, take breaks from your creative pursuits and give yourself time to recharge and refocus. Finally, practice self-care and make sure you’re taking care of your mental and emotional well-being.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your work and are worried about your mental health, reach out for help. Talk to a counselor or therapist who can help you navigate this difficult time.

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About the author

Carla Tensuan is a freelance writer, editor, and communications specialist. She specializes in crafting creative copy, blog content, and press releases. She enjoys listening to podcasts, reading books, and practicing yoga in her free time. She lives with her husband in Manila, Philippines.