Writers' Woes by Abhinav Bhadri

Writers woes

Anxiety and Depression



Mark Twain, Sylvia Plath, JK rowling. If I ask you, 'find the common point for all of them'. Your answer will most likely be, they all are famous and influential writers, right? Or something along those lines. Well yes they were that, but they also had a very convincing contrasting side common too. They all suffer from depression and Anxiety.

You may wonder, how could a writer, " A master of creativity" be shrouded by the air of  anxiety and depression. How could they be enveloped  to such an extent they are blinded by what's frustrating them? How could they struggle, when writing itself  is a method of escapism?A method of relief ?  We gonna debunk all of that in this article.(Sips my coffee, for starters I don't have an inch of anxiety ( ꈍᴗꈍ), *hides all the bited ends of pens and intensely scribbled notes*)

Signs/symptoms  of Anxiety and Depression


First thing first. Here's few of the signs of anxiety and depression:

  • Sudden overwhelming fear, Palpitations, Sweating.   
  • Shortness of breath, Sense of choking, Chest pain
  • A feeling of being detached from the world (derealization)
  • Panic attacks
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts

P.s: breathe. If you think you have anxiety because of all of this, nope. Don't do a self diagnosis of yourself. These are just "signs" which may or may not be a definite proof of anxiety. 

The Writer's Dilemma

 The main question now comes, "Why are we so focussed on the connection of Writers and Depression ?"


As quoted by Dr. Manevitz ."being familiar with misery, pain, and suffering may guide the process (of depression and anxiety) for some writers".

Aka "feel nahi ah rahi" as said by many writers, can actually be a very substantial reason for their low-key moments. To maintain the vibe of originality and authenticity, writers may try to go through the same emotions (often negative) as their characters go through. 

This not only brings an unnecessary sensation of sorrow, but also can act as a trigger for resurfacing miserable and even traumatic memories of their past. (Me who adopts his personality after the protagonist of every show he watches: "hmm, People can be so dumb *shrugs* ). 

Better alternatives?


Now instead of going through your own sadness, try to look for cases, stories, short films, etc over the internet, on your given genre. It equips one with tons of imagery, wordplay and apt vocabulary, to be used, for the vivid description of your own scene.


Moreover it prevents you from being biased. Let's say, I have some terrible past, *alexa Dim the lights, and play pal do pal ka raahi hui*, and I'm writing for my character and using emotions that I felt  at those times. Now yes both are "pain", but pain is actually persona dependent. Your characters might have their own twerks which may or may not resonate with your pain, and thus could bring plot holes and disturb the character sketch. Chances are you will miss it cause, you are already, very sure that, what you are writing is pain.

Borrowing your way out

In contrast to everything stated above, it's a proven fact that journaling, maintaining some sorta My diary, Mood logs, written information of your depression and anxiety are actually coping methods. 

Wait. Before you start swearing at me through your screens, There is a difference between the normal writing it down and the coping writing methods. Okay? Calm down and move your finger away from the back key.

The difference is, when you relate it to your character, you are basically doing a retelling of your sorrow. Making yourself, go through the same low moments, in order to relate to your character. It questions your brain that, "Yes it was a sorrowful thing, the. Why aren't you crying now ?", Basically opening all the healed wounds. 

Whereas when you journal or maintain a mood log/diary, you are re-evaluating your sorrow. It convinces your brain that, "Yes it was a sorrowful thing, but you had this reason. This reason, maybe right or maybe wrong. If it's right, it means it was logical to cry, and you needed time to heal. If the reason was something wrong, it means this is the part where you have to improve, and you can be a better person. Capture4

Notice? One hampers your brain and the other eases it, and makes you convince of the sorrow, and thus starts the process of healing. 

Most of the teen writers in the current era treat writing as a means of escapism. They vent their thoughts out , Personify their pains and write some of the incredible pieces. But all and all what's important is the fact that they write in first person. They vent their pain out, and that acts sorta the same what journalling does. It makes you feel that your sorrow is known by people, yet your secret is safe. Instead of just enabling the anxious feeling, writing it helps to bring a sense of ending, and logical validation of your sorrow.

You might have noticed I never defined what anxiety or depression is. Firstly, it's a topic that most of us already know the description of. And secondly, what may be anxiety for me, may not be anxiety for you which is totally fine. This is the major takeaway from this article. What sorrow for one maybe, may not be for the other. What pain may be for you may not be for your character. The sense of bearing the same with your character, might have more harm than benefits.


So I hope I was able to debunk some of the myths and errors surrounding this topic. Till the next time we meet, keep yourself mentally, emotionally and physically safe and sound.

Bella ciao :'))) 




Author- Abhinav Bhadri 



  1.  https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/anxiety-attack-symptoms
  2. https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/detecting-depression
  3. https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/why-writers-are-prone-to-depression-6709.aspx
  4. Pictures: Pinterest 


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